WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 28, 2011, 01:34 PM

Fate of murder-for-hire case in the hands of the jury

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The fate of Gene Kirkpatrick is now in the hands of the jury. Closing arguments from the defense and prosecution lasted nearly three hours this morning.

Gene Kirkpatrick is accused of hiring convicted killer Michael Nakvinda to murder his son in law Phillip Gattuso in order to gain custody of his granddaughter. Kirkpatrick also faces a conspiracy to commit burglary charge after Nakvinda stole Gattuso's Porsche, which Kirkpatrick told Nakvinda about.

The Defense has argued that there was NO clear agreement between Nakvinda and Kirkpatrick. That after Kirkpatrick admitting to what he calls "locker room" talk with Nakvinda about killing Gattuso to police and in sworn testimony.

Prosecutors say Kirkpatrick paid Nakvinda 3-thousands dollars and took video tape of Gattuso's home and gave it to Nakvinda and Kirkpatrick did everything to commit the murder but physically kill him. Its unclear how long the jury will deliberate.

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