Day 3: Wallets, bloody shoeprints, surveillance video brought into questioning during Isaak trial

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Friday is the third day prosecutors and defense attorneys questioned witnesses in the trial of Chad Isaak.

Isaak is accused of killing four people at RJR Maintenance and Management in April of 2019.

Maddie Biertempfel has been following the case all week.

The longest portion of testimony Friday was from Special Agent Joe Arenz with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

He described the state of the bodies found, the signs of struggle in the office and the surveillance video he says shows there’s just one suspect. The defense disputes that.

When Don Eliason arrived to work at RJR about 8 a.m. on April 1, 2019, he saw coworkers outside, an ambulance and something else out of place.

“The only thing that concerned us was that Bill’s vehicle was missing from the shop,” said Eliason.

Arenz arrived to survey the scene.

He eventually concluded, based on surveillance video, one person committed the four murders. Defense disputes that, saying that there wasn’t surveillance video everywhere — just one area of RJR.

“It was a subject that was wearing an orange mask, an orange jacket, dark-colored pants, dark-colored shoes and dark-colored gloves,” said Arenz.

The defense disputes that, saying there wasn’t surveillance video everywhere — just one area of RJR.

“These crimes are not on the video, correct?” asked Defense Attorney Bruce Quick.
“Correct,” Arenz replied.

He said special agents followed all procedures when collecting evidence.

“Any agent that was ever going to be coming into contact with evidence would’ve always been wearing gloves,” he said.

Arenz also described finding the four victims and other items strewn about the office, showing signs of struggle.

That includes the wallets of Adam Fuehrer and Lois Cobb, with their IDs taken out — supposedly so the suspect could identify who was killed.

Arenz said those IDs weren’t checked for fingerprints because the suspect was seen in surveillance video wearing gloves.

“Would it have been advisable to test those items?” asked Quick.
“It could’ve been,” Arenz replied.

Arenz also took questions about bloody shoeprints found on scene, saying, to the best of his knowledge, they don’t match the tread of shoes worn by first responders or law enforcement.

“It looked different to me than the other shoe impressions in that area,” said Arenz.
“Did it look different to you, again, just based on your visual review, to a duty boot?” asked Prosecuting Attorney Karlei Neufeld.
“It did not look like a duty boot I had ever seen,” said Arenz.

A Mandan police officer also testified about his time surveying Indigo Signs on April 1, 2019, where an RJR pickup truck was parked just a few blocks from the RJR building.

The prosecution has argued the suspect drove that vehicle to Indigo Signs after fleeing the scene.

“Do you receive tips in this case?” Defense Attorney Luke Heck asked.
“Mandan Police Department and other agencies received tips, I do not know what they were,” said Sgt. Dan Poppe, with the Mandan Police Department.

When the case continues Monday morning, attorneys will start questioning a medical examiner and go through multiple autopsy photos of the victims.

The defense argued that the number of graphic photos would be too much for a jury to see, but both sides came to an agreement.

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