Trial could be moved from Fargo

Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Attorneys for an Oklahoma man accused of hiring a hit man to kill his son-in-law in North Dakota have asked a judge to move the trial from Fargo to either Minot or Bismarck.

The Forum newspaper reports that defense attorneys also seek to suppress statements Gene Kirkpatrick of Jones, Okla., made to police during their investigation into the October 2009 hammer killing of Fargo dentist Philip Gattuso.

Kirkpatrick's daughter was married to Gattuso until her March 2009 death.

 Authorities believe Kirkpatrick was unhappy that Gattuso was raising his granddaughter, and paid his handyman to kill Gattuso. Michael Nakvinda of Oklahoma City in December was convicted of murder.

Kirkpatrick's murder conspiracy trial is to begin Feb. 28. A hearing on the defense motions is set for Jan. 27.