A summary of the courtroom proceedings for Chad Isaak’s sentencing to life in prison without parole

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 5:20 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A brutal crime that left four people dead — with victims shot and stabbed more than 100 times — rocked a small community and left many with questions. At last, there’s a resolution: life in prison with no chance at parole for the convicted, Chad Isaak.

Family and friends of the victims — William Cobb, Lois Cobb, Adam Fuehrer, and Robert Fakler — gathered at the Morton County Courthouse Tuesday. They addressed Isaak.

“You didn’t just murder my son once. You murdered him over and over and over,” said Shirley Metz, Adam Fuehrer’s stepmother.

They said Isaak showed no remorse for the April 1, 2019 crimes.

“In war, your enemy has weapons. In a hunt, the animals can flee. Isaak, you’re a coward because you took that away from these four individuals. You did not give them a chance,” said Robert Fakler’s wife Jackie Fakler.

They said their loved ones and Isaak’s family deserved more.

“Concerning your family, I pray for them. They did not make the decision that you had made. They supported you as much as they could, just like family should. I know they are grieving too,” said Jamie Binstock, Robert Fakler’s daughter.

More than 20 people either spoke or filed victim impact statements with the court saying Isaak was a danger to the public. The state agreed, asking that Isaak receive the harshest sentence under North Dakota law.

“There’s very few offenses under North Dakota law that are AA felonies or possibly punishable with life without the possibility of parole. We reserve those for the most heinous of crimes, the most brutal of crimes and that’s exactly what we have here,” said Assistant Morton County State’s Attorney Gabrielle Goter.

Prosecutors say Isaak declined a mental health evaluation during the presentence investigation.

Isaak replied in one sentence.

“I can honestly tell you that I am not a murderer and that is all I have to say,” said Chad Isaak.

Isaak’s attorney asked Judge David Reich to consider life with parole.

“Condemning Chad Isaak to die behind bars without the possibility of parole would fail to recognize the basic principle of our shared humanity that all people are capable of redemption if they make themselves so worthy,” said Defense Attorney Jesse Walstad of Vogel Law Firm.

Judge Reich disagreed and accepted the state’s recommendation.

“Mr. Isaak took the lives of four innocent people with a senseless act of extreme and brutal violence in this case,” said Judge Reich.

Although a motive for the crimes was never revealed, RJR employees say they feel relief.

“I think that this finally gives some people in our office a chance to step back and really start to heal and process the emotions without the thought of the monster on the back of their brain,” said Ben Pace.

Isaak received four life sentences without parole with credit for 1,000 days served for the murder charges. Each sentence will run consecutively. He received additional time for three lesser offenses.

Isaak will have the opportunity to appeal his case over the next 30 days.

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