Jurors in murder trial see photos of Larson's body, crime scene
WILLMAR — Dr. A. Quinn Strobl, chief medical examiner with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey, testified this morning that she determined that Timothy Larson’s death was a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the left chest.
The jurors in the Timothy Huber murder trial also viewed numerous photographs of Larson’s body and photographs and video footage taken by investigators from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at the rural Belgrade crime scene on the property of Larson’s father.
The trial continues this afternoon before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court. County Attorney Jenna Fischer and assistant county attorneys Dain Olson and Chris Jensen are prosecuting the case. Huber is represented by public defenders Stephen Ferrazzano and Carter Greiner.
Timothy Huber, 47, of rural Paynesville, is standing trial on first- and second-degree murder charges in the case. He and his father, Delbert Huber, were indicted on the charges for killing Larson, 43, on Oct. 8, 2011, after a confrontation over allegedly stolen money and tractor parts and alleged vandalism of the Hubers’ farm tractors. Delbert Huber, 82, is already serving the maximum sentence of 367 months in prison for second-degree murder, to which he pleaded guilty in August.
Strobl testified that full-body X-rays and the autopsy of Larson’s body showed a “snowstorm” effect of bullet fragments in Larson’s left chest, and rib fractures, plus damage to his left lung and lacerations to the spleen and diaphragm. She also noted that Larson’s brain had swelled, due to lack of blood flow.
The entrance wound from the bullet was under Larson’s left arm, meaning that his arm had to have been elevated when he was shot because the arm was not injured, Strobl said. There were two exit wounds, caused by two pieces of the bullet, on his back.
Larson’s body had no injuries or abrasions on either of his hands and testing showed he had no alcohol or drugs in his system, Strobl said.
Based on the wounds to Larson’s body, Strobl said, she was unable to determine the range, or distance, from which he was shot. However, she said Larson suffered from “rapid” blood loss and would have lived for a “maximum of minutes” after being shot.
BCA forensic scientist Myha Le, who was on the crime scene team called to the shooting scene, testified that the team’s measurements showed that Larson’s body was 30 feet from his pickup truck and 128 feet from the barn on the property.
The BCA photos of Larson’s body showed that his pants pockets had been turned inside out. The BCA team found a shotgun under the back seat of Larson’s extended cab pickup, with shells in a holster attached to the stock, but with no shells in the chamber. They also found his wallet under the seat and a dish of rice on the center console of the vehicle.
The BCA images show the camper that Larson’s wife earlier testified that her husband had taken to the farm. The camper was parked to the east of the home on the property, which is located to the southeast of the crime scene.
BCA testing, Le testified, did not show DNA evidence of blood on the clothing collected from either of the Hubers and no latent fingerprints were found on the gun used in the crime and found in the Huber residence.
DNA evidence also showed that the prominent DNA on Larson’s wallet was from Larson himself and that both of the Hubers were excluded from contributing to the DNA on the wallet.
Corinne Skogen, who lives just to the south of the Norman Larson residence along 285th Avenue Northeast, testified that Tim Larson came to her home on the night before he was shot and asked if he could park his pickup on the yard when he went hunting the next morning. Neither Skogen nor her son, whom Larson also visited with that evening, saw Larson’s pickup the next morning.
The final witness of the morning was Kevin Bjork, who lives in the St. Cloud area and is a childhood friend of Timothy Larson. He testified that he and Larson were going to meet at the farm on the morning of Oct. 8, 2011, to prepare deer stands for hunting. Bjork said he did not get Larson’s call to him on the night before because he doesn’t carry his cell phone, and when Bjork attempted to reach Larson that morning, Larson did not answer his phone.
Bjork testified that he had previously met Timothy Huber and that he had no animosity toward either Timothy or Delbert Huber.
“Were you part of any plan to do violence to the Hubers?” Fischer asked Bjork during questioning. Bjork gave a simple “no” as his reply.
Bjork’s testimony continues this afternoon.