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Published July 18, 2011, 06:50 PM

Jury selection begins in Kirkpatrick trial

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The final puzzle piece of a 2-year murder case is now in Fargo. Gene Kirkpatrick in court, 2 years after the brutal murder of Fargo dentist Phillip Gatusso.

The final puzzle piece of a 2-year murder case is now in Fargo. Gene Kirkpatrick in court, 2 years after the brutal murder of Fargo dentist Phillip Gatusso.

Jury selection begins tomorrow morning for the Kirkpatrick case. After posting a 1-million dollar bail nearly two years ago, Gene Kirkpatrick's a free man but his fate will soon be in the hands of a Fargo jury.

Kirkpatrick and his attorney Mack Martin attended a pre-trial hearing at the Cass County courthouse this afternoon. Jury selection will start tomorrow morning at 9:30. There are 119 jury prospects in the case. Gene Kirkpatrick is accused of hiring Michael Nakvinda to kill his son in law, Philip Gatusso. Nakvinda was convicted of murdering Gatusso in January and sentenced to life in prison. Gene Kirkpatrick faces a charge of "conspiring to commit murder" and he maintains his innocence.

The trial is expected to last into early August.

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