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Published December 06, 2010, 12:45 PM

Brother of slaying victim testifies in ND trial

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The brother of slain Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso (guh-TOO'-soh) says Gattuso told him his father-in-law threatened to kill him over custody of his daughter.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The brother of slain Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso (guh-TOO'-soh) says Gattuso told him his father-in-law threatened to kill him over custody of his daughter.

The testimony came Monday in the trial of Michael Nakvinda of Oklahoma City, who's accused of beating Gattuso to death with a hammer in October 2009. Authorities believe Gattuso's father-in-law, Gene Kirkpatrick, paid Nakvinda $3,000 for the hit.

Gattuso's brother, Roy Gattuso, a New Orleans-area lawyer, told jurors that Philip asked him to draw up a will to prevent Kirkpatrick and his family from getting custody of his daughter if he died under suspicious circumstances. Roy Gattuso said his brother was killed before he could complete the will.

Valerie Gattuso, Kirkpatrick's daughter and Philip Gattuso's wife, died in March 2009 after an extended illness.

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