WILLMAR -- District Judge Michael J. Thompson ordered Wednesday that local attorney Ramona Lackore be appointed as standby counsel for Delbert Huber, the 82-year-old rural Paynesville man who allegedly shot and killed an Albertville man last fall.
And, as of Friday afternoon, no attorney had filed a certificate of representation indicating that he or she was hired as Delbert Huber's defense attorney.
Huber and his son, Timothy John Huber, 46, were both indicted on first-degree murder charges for their roles in the Oct. 8, 2011, shooting death of Timothy Richard Larson at a rural Belgrade residence.
Delbert Huber allegedly shot Larson with a 303 British Enfield rifle during a confrontation over the fact that Larson ordered the Hubers and their farm equipment off Larson's father's farm.
Both Hubers have been in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail since the incident, with the father held on $5 million bail and the son held on $1 million bail.
The elder Huber is set to stand trial, beginning Sept. 4, with an omnibus hearing to handle any pretrial matters set for Aug. 9 in the case in Kandiyohi County District Court. His son's next appearance is Aug. 2. They both face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
Thompson's order states that effective Aug. 1, Lackore be appointed as Huber's standby counsel, that the county attorney's office and court administration provide her with the documents filed in the case and that she attend all hearings or trials in the case, answer questions posed by Huber on proper courtroom decorum, rules and procedures, be available via phone during reasonable hours for Huber's questions and find and explain any statutes or rules that Huber requests. At trial, she is to sit immediately behind Huber, but not at the counsel table.
The order also spells out what Lackore is not required to do, including that she is not to prepare to try the case, to examine witnesses, to make arguments to the court or the jury and not to engage in strategizing with Huber.
The order states that the standby counsel be paid at least $75 per hour and that an itemized bill be submitted to the court, for payment by the State Court Administration.
Huber had been scheduled for a two-week long jury trial starting June 18, but the trial was delayed over the issue of who would pay for his standby counsel. A new state law, which takes effect Aug. 1, says that the State Court Administration is responsible for paying for standby counsel.
Thompson has previously ruled that standby counsel be appointed to Huber, who has appeared at numerous hearings without an attorney. He's told the court that he and family members were attempting to secure legal counsel, but were not successful in their efforts.
Huber 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.