Delbert Huber trial moved to September, murder suspect still doesn't have attorney
WILLMAR -- Delbert Huber's trial for the October 2011 killing of Timothy Richard Larson has been moved to September.
In a court hearing this morning, the 81-year-old rural Paynesville man agreed to move his two-week jury trial from June to September.
District Judge Michael J. Thompson set the trial to begin Sept. 4, with an omnibus hearing set for Aug. 9 in the case in Kandiyohi County District Court.
Huber, and his son, Timothy John Huber, 46, were both indicted on first-degree murder charges for their roles in the shooting death of 43-year-old Larson on rural Belgrade property owned by Larson's father. The penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison.
The elder Huber still doesn't have an attorney to represent him in the case. He told Thompson that his niece was trying to secure legal counsel, but that the last time he talked with her, she said "nothing" about a lawyer.
The delay of the trial will clarify the issue of who pays for Huber's standby counsel, an attorney to attend the trial and advise the defendant on court rules, procedures and law if he represents himself.
Thompson ruled last week that, in the interest of justice, standby counsel should be appointed for Huber. However, the delay allows a new law to take effect on Aug. 1 that requires the State Court Administration to pay for the standby counsel.
The judge said the standby counsel will be dismissed from his duties if Huber has his own attorney and that the legal process isn't going to stop for Huber's delays.
"I urge you to do so (get an attorney) - again, this is a serious matter," the judge said. "When our trial dates come up ... I don't see any reason to delay this matter."
Delbert Huber has been held on $5 million bail in the Kandiyohi County Jail since the shooting death. His son has also been jailed, on $1 million bail.
The elder Huber has appeared multiple times in court without a lawyer and has repeatedly said he and family members are attempting to hire an attorney. He has also made multiple applications for a public defender, the latest on April 16, which have been denied. His first attempt to get a public defender was denied because he owned land in Kandiyohi and Stearns counties.
The 80 acres of Kandiyohi County property was subsequently been transferred from Huber's possession, via quitclaim deed, to his relatives. Those relatives, his niece, Cherry DeMarais, and his sister, Elise Wagner, of Howard Lake, and the "fraudulent conveyance" of the land are also part of a wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by the Larson's family.