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Published July 25, 2011, 07:11 PM

Testimony continues in third day of Kirkpatrick trial

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A tearful testimony in the trial of Gene Kirkpatrick today. A new letter reveals Valerie Gattuso did not want her late husband, Phillip, raising their daughter Kennedy.

A tearful testimony in the trial of Gene Kirkpatrick today. A new letter reveals Valerie Gattuso did not want her late husband, Phillip, raising their daughter Kennedy. Gene Kirkpatrick is accused of hiring a hitman to kill his son-in-law Phillip Gattuso, in order to gain custody of his granddaughter.

Debbie Baker was questioned for 2 hours by both the defense and prosecution. 12 witnesses took the stand, even Phillips Brother Roy Gattuso. But it was Baker who became the star witness in court.

She told the court that Michael Nakvinda, who was convicted of killing Gattuso with a hammer, had previously done some work for her. Baker says there was a letter Valerie Gattuso had written before she died, explaining she wanted her sister Reegan to take custody of Kennedy. Baker testified Nakvinda told her he would "Take care" of Gattuso with a hammer for Gene Kirkpatrick, but soon after said he was "joking". The defense team says Nakvinda killed on his own.

Mack Martin – Kirkpatrick’s Attorney: "He was talking about quote, taking care of Phillip. Because Gene didn't have the guts to do it. He couldn't do it.

Debbie Baker: “…and wouldn’t do it.”

Roy Gattuso, Phillip's brother also took the stand. He explained how Valerie's illness took an extreme toll on his brother and Phillip thought the family had been split when she became ill.

Roy Gattuso – Phillip’s Brother: “Yes. He wanted to have a family unit. And he felt like that family unit was severed.”

The state expects to rest its case tomorrow sometime.

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