BISMARCK, ND (KXNET) — Chad Isaak’s appeal of his murder convictions in the RJR killings will be heard by the North Dakota Supreme Court today — even though Isaak himself is dead.
Isaak was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in December 2021 following his conviction on four counts of murder in the April 2019 RJR Maintenance and Management killings in Mandan.
In June 2022, Isaak appealed his convictions to the North Dakota Supreme Court, arguing four errors in his case by trial judge David Reich denied him his constitutional right to a public trial and his right to be present during jury selection.
A month later in July, Isaak committed suicide in his prison cell.
His appeal, however, continued to move through the court system, leading up to this afternoon’s hearing before the North Dakota Supreme Court.
In addition to the four issues raised in Isaak’s appeal, briefs have also been filed concerning the effect of Isaak’s death on his convictions. Isaak’s attorney argues the convictions should be dismissed because the case is not final. The state argues Isaak’s appeal is moot and the convictions should stand.
The hearing is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. today before the court.