Recap of opening statements in Isaak trial

Local News

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense each gave opening statements in the trial of Chad Isaak Wednesday morning.

Isaak is accused of killing four employees of RJR Maintenance and Management on April 1, 2019.

In a roughly 10-minute opening, the state laid out the scene of the crime and the testimony jurors would hear over the course of the trial.

Assistant Attorney General Karlei Neufeld described video surveillance from the site of the murders she says shows a person of height and weight matching the suspect.

She also mentioned evidence from a McDonald’s employee who worked down the Strip who saw a man in a ski mask — the prosecution believes that man was Isaak.

The state did not lay out a motive for the crimes.

“Ultimately, investigators will use those surveillance videos to show you how they followed the suspect’s arrival route and exit route on the morning of the murders. They will also show you how they use photos to locate that suspect vehicle in Washburn, North Dakota, and how they were able to identify it as a white Ford pickup belonging to the defendant, Chad Isaak,” Neufeld said.

The defense’s more than an hourlong opening statement centered on what they believe to be law enforcement’s improper execution of search warrants, as well as their lack of interest in pursuing other suspects.

Attorney Bruce Quick also said the defense believes the time frame of the crime and nature of the murders does not fit with a single suspect, but rather more than one person who could possibly be involved.

Quick also highlighted that no DNA evidence of the victims were found on Isaak or in his home.

“No DNA evidence of the victims were on Dr. Isaak’s fingernails or his person and no DNA of Dr. Isaak was found on the victims. There was also no DNA of the victims in Dr. Isaak’s home, or Dr. Isaak’s business. There was no DNA or even evidence of blood on any of the clothing items seized from Dr. Isaak’s home,” Quick said.

The trial will continue Wednesday until about 4:30 p.m.

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