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Forum staff reports, Published November 29 2010

Murder trial set to kick off Tuesday with jury selection

Attorneys will begin to whittle a pool of 36 potential jurors down to 14 when the trial starts Tuesday for a man accused of beating a Fargo dentist to death.

Michael Allen Nakvinda is charged with murder in Cass County District Court in connection with the fatal beating of Philip Gattuso in October 2009. He also faces charges of theft, burglary and robbery.

Authorities claim Nakvinda killed Gattuso for a $3,000 payout by the former father-in-law of the dentist, Gene Kirkpatrick. Charged with conspiracy to commit murder, Kirkpatrick is set to stand trial in March.

Police think Kirkpatrick, after the death of Gattuso’s wife and his daughter, was trying to get custody of the couple’s lone child.

Attorneys said that jury selection will likely take at least one day and probably more.

For the full story, read The Forum on Tuesday.