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Published November 03, 2009, 09:42 PM

Former Father-In-Law Charged in Fargo Dentist Slaying

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Charges have been filed in North Dakota against an Oklahoma man accused of hiring his handyman to kill his former son-in-law.

Gene Kirkpatrick of Jones, Okla., is charged in Cass County with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit burglary. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Oklahoma authorities say the 63-year-old Kirkpatrick paid his handyman $3,000 to kill Philip Gattuso, a Fargo dentist whose body was discovered in his home last week. The handyman, Michael Nakvinda, is charged with murder, robbery, burglary and theft. He has waived extradition to North Dakota.

Kirkpatrick told Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott on Tuesday that he wanted to "stay here and fight extradition."

Attempts to reach Kirkpatrick's attorney, Joe Brett Reynolds, were unsuccessful.

Gattuso was married to Kirkpatrick's daughter, Valerie, who died in March. Authorities say Kirkpatrick was unhappy with the way Gattuso was raising the 3-year-old girl.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.