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Defense calls witnesses to testify in Chad Isaak trial

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - After 2.5 weeks of the state calling over 60 witnesses to testify, the defense now brought witnesses of their own to the stand.

The defense called witnesses to speak about their client, Chad Isaak. First, RJR employee Ben Pace testified about interactions he and victim, Robert Fakler, had with Isaak.

“It was very normal. We spoke about things that he had previously done in the park for the old management company. I had handed him the invite to the Meet the Managers meeting. Other than that it was fairly average; I had met other people in the park that same day,” said Ben Pace of RJR Maintenance and Management.

Both sides continued to question Pace about concerns Isaak had with being able to keep his dog.

When you spoke to him, he had concerns about that pet policy?” said Gabrielle Goter, prosecution attorney.

“Right,” said Pace.

“And those were concerns that he brought up to you?” said Goter.

“Regarding being able to keep the dog, yes,” said Pace.

Pace also told the jury that there was no problem with Isaak keeping the dog.

The defense moved on to patients Isaak had seen at his chiropractic business on April 1, the day of the murders. One patient highlighted an unusual moment that they had previously disclosed to law enforcement during the investigation.

“He felt my neck and walked away and then came back, yes,” said Joseph Schmit, patient of Chad Isaak’s.

“Had he every done that previously?” said prosecution attorney Karlei Neufeld.

“Not that I can remember,” said Schmit.

Another patient told the jury how Isaak had called her to tell her that he had to move her appointment on the day of the murders. She said he told her he had a dental appointment.

“During that chit-chat that you guys would often have, did he mention having a sore mouth?” asked Neufeld. “No,” said Dora Sorenson, Patient of Chad Isaak’s. .

“Frozen gums and things like that?” said Neufeld.

“No,” said Sorenson.

After just over two hours of questioning, the defense rested. The prosecution brought in a rebuttal witness from Beulah Dental to confirm whether Isaak had an appointment that morning.

“Do you know the defendant had a dental appointment on April 1, 2019?” asked Neufeld.

“He did not,” said Lisa Johansen of Beulah Dental.

“Was there ever an appointment created for April 1, 2019, involving the defendant?” Neufeld continued.

“No, not April 1,” said Johansen.

When questioned by defense, Johansen said Isaak would routinely take his medical records with him when he left the dentist, and it was possible Isaak visited another dentist.

All the evidence and testimony have now been presented to the jury.

Thursday both parties will present their closing arguments before the case passes to the jury to decide. Judge David Reich says that if the jury does not reach a verdict by Friday, they may continue deliberation into Saturday.

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