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Man convicted in Mandan quadruple murder dies by suicide, authorities say

Chad Isaak, 48, was declared dead early Sunday evening. He was in the process of appealing his conviction.

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Chad Isaak of Washburn sits with his defense team Wednesday during the third day of his murder trial at the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan. Isaak is on trial for the killing of four people at RJR Maintenance and Management in Mandan on April 1, 2019. At left are defense attorneys Bruce Quick and Jesse Walstad.
Mike McCleary / The Bismarck Tribune
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Editor's note: If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 to speak with a trained crisis counselor. The number is answered locally.

BISMARCK — A man convicted of killing four people at a Mandan property management business has died by suicide, authorities said.

Chad Trolon Isaak, 48, was pronounced dead at 6:24 p.m. Sunday, July 31, after being taken to Sanford Hospital in Bismarck, the North Dakota Highway Patrol said Monday in a news release. Both the Highway Patrol and the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are investigating the death.

The Highway Patrol was called to the State Penitentiary for a report of an inmate who harmed himself, the release said. No further information was available in the release.

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Kayli Richards said the department could release few details about Isaak's death because it is under investigation. Isaak had a roommate, but that person was not present at the time Isaak reportedly took his life Sunday afternoon, Richards said.

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She noted Isaak had one "minor pending disciplinary report" against him since he first came to the prison.

Richards declined to say whether Isaak was under watch for mental health reasons. She also declined to say who found Isaak, noting that fact is part of the investigation.

Isaak was serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him in August of killing RJR Maintenance and Management co-owner Robert Fakler, 52; and employees Adam Fuehrer, 42; Bill Cobb, 50; and Lois Cobb, 45. The former chiropractor was sentenced in December after a three-week trial.

Isaak broke into the property management building in Mandan on April 1, 2019, before stabbing and shooting the four victims.

He was arrested three days later near his home in Washburn, North Dakota, during a traffic stop. He lived in a mobile home park managed by RJR, according to court documents.

A motive was not disclosed in the murder case.

Isaak maintained he was not guilty and was in the process of appealing his conviction. His appeals attorney, Kiara Kraus-Parr, filed a petition with the North Dakota Supreme Court seeking a new trial for various reasons, including claims that he was wrongfully kept out of the courtroom during parts of jury selection.

One of Isaak's trial attorneys, Luke Heck, said the defense teams feels terrible for Isaak's family and the families of everyone involved.

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The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has asked the privacy of those impacted by Isaak’s death be respected.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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