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Attorney: Kirkpatrick would have been bad witness

FARGO, N.D. (KFGO-AM) -- The attorney for an Oklahoma man convicted of hiring a hit man to kill his son-in-law in Fargo says he didn't put his client on the stand because he thought he would talk too much and the trial seemed to be going well.

Gene Kirkpatrick, of Jones, Oklahoma, is serving life in prison for ordering the death of dentist Philip Gattuso in 2009 because Kirkpatrick thought Gattuso was a poor parent to his granddaughter. Kirkpatrick wants his conviction overturned. He says his trial lawyer, Mack Martin, did a poor job and should have let him testify.

Martin said during a hearing in Fargo he thought Kirkpatrick would have trouble answering questions directly on cross-examination. He cited Kirkpatrick's testimony Thursday during which he went off on several tangents.

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