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Published October 10, 2011, 10:53 AM

Oklahoma man convicted of murder-for-hire gets life in prison without parole

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An Oklahoma man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for hiring his handyman to kill his son-in-law, Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — An Oklahoma man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for hiring his handyman to kill his son-in-law, Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso.

A North Dakota jury in July found 65-year-old Gene Kirkpatrick, of Jones, Okla., guilty of murder and burglary conspiracy charges.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Steven Marquart told Kirkpatrick that friends and family who have testified on Kirkpatrick's behalf do not know the "dark side" of him.

Gattuso's brother, Roy, said afterward he was "elated" with the sentence. He said his family would need time to digest it.

Sharon Kirkpatrick, Gene's wife, said afterward her husband was innocent and called Phillip Gattuso "a prince of darkness."

Kirkpatrick's daughter, Valerie, was married to Gattuso until she died after an extended illness.

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