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Published July 27, 2011, 07:00 PM

Defense rests in 5th day of Kirkpatrick trial

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Gene Kirkpatrick had expectations of testifying in his defense. And opening arguments suggested he would. But the defense rested its case today without ever calling him to the stand.

Gene Kirkpatrick had expectations of testifying in his defense. And opening arguments suggested he would. But the defense rested its case today without ever calling him to the stand. Kirkpatrick faces conspiracy to commit murder charges in connection with the murder of his son in law, Phillip Gattuso.

Just 8 witnesses were called to the stand to defend Gene Kirkpatrick today. After almost 4 days of trial prosecutors rested its case, it took less than 6 hours for the defense to rest theirs.

We got our first glimpse of any sort of emotion from Kirkpatrick, typically sitting stone faced hearing the trial. David Tiller, an Oklahoma psychologist who analyzed Kirkpatrick after his daughter Valerie died from a surgery gone bad, also Phillip's wife. He told jurors that he's suffering from "complex grief". Because of that, Tiller said Kirkpatrick likely talked to everyone about his "grief" including convicted killer Michael Nakvinda who was a handy man for Kirkpatrick. He told the jury "we are all capable of plotting and planning". But doesn’t mean we follow through.

Dr. David Tiller – Gene’s Psychologist: “We all give the right situation. Can say, I’m gonna kill that son of a gun, some guy cuts us off in traffic, and we almost get in a wreck and it scares us, some guy's being a bone head. Yea we say I’m going to kill him."

Jeff Williams, Kirkpatrick’s son in law was also called. Prosecutors cross examined him and he explained he overheard Nakvinda and Kirkpatrick talking about Gattuso a number of times....

Mark Boening – Assistant State’s Attorney: “And it was typically in the context of how he treated Valerie and or Gene's concern over Kennedy, is that right?”

Jeff Williams – Kirkpatrick’s Son in Law: “Yes.”

Closing arguments will begin tomorrow morning and a decision could be made by the end of the week.

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