Conviction in Fargo dentist murder plot upheldBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man who hired a hit man to kill his son-in-law.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man who hired a hit man to kill his son-in-law.
Philip Gattuso was found beaten to death in his Fargo home three years ago.
Gattuso's father-in-law, Gene Kirkpatrick of Jones, Okla., was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. Authorities said Kirkpatrick didn't want Gattuso, a dentist, raising his preschool-aged granddaughter after Gattuso's wife died, so he hired Michael Nakvinda (nahk-VINH’-dah) to kill him.
Kirkpatrick said statements he made to police shouldn't have been used against him. He contended jurors got improper instructions and should have been allowed to consider a less serious charge.
The Supreme Court rejected those arguments Tuesday and affirmed the convictions.
Both Kirkpatrick and Nakvinda are serving life prison terms.
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