Focus shifts to defense in Kirkpatrick trialFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - More than a dozen witnesses in less than 4 days, and the state has rested its case against Gene Kirkpatrick.
More than a dozen witnesses in less than 4 days, and the state has rested its case against Gene Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick stands trial for hiring convicted killer Michael Nakvinda to kill his son in law, Phillip Gattuso also a Fargo dentist. Now the burden of proof lies with the defense to show that there was NO agreement between Nakvinda and Kirkpatrick.
Today, testimony wrapped up early with Fargo detective Paula Ternes. Both legal teams grilled her with questions. Prosecutors questioned Ternes about her investigation in Fargo and Oklahoma. Between the stolen Porsche, bloody hammer and numerous other items, Ternes says it was the most extensive amount evidence she had gathered in her career.
Ryan Younggren – Assitant States Attorney: "During this investigation did any of the witnesses or evidence point to, in some other direction, other than Mr. Nakvinda or Mr. Kirkpatrick?”
Paula Ternes – Fargo Detective: No."
Mack Martin, Kirkpatrick's attorney cross examined her asking her why she never interviewed Debbie Baker. Baker's a key witness in the trial who was told by Nakvinda that he "would take care of Phillip and Gene couldn't do it, wouldn't do it or ever know it." Drawing the connection that if she had, then charges may not have been filed against Kirkpatrick.
Mack Martin – Kirkpatricks Attorney: "As a matter of fact you never called her relating while you were in Oklahoma, relating to this case. Isn't that true?”
Ternes: “Yes, that's true.”
It will take about 2 days for the defense to make its case. The jury may have the trial before the weekend after closing arguments. Ternes also told the jury, charges would have likely have been brought against Kirkpatrick regardless of her interviewing Debbie Baker. The trial resumes again tomorrow morning at 9 AM.