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Younger suspect in shooting of man near Belgrade, Minn., claims mentally ill at the time

Delbert Huber1 / 2
Timothy Huber2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Public defense attorneys for Timothy John Huber have filed a notice that their client was either mentally ill or under duress during the Oct. 8 killing of Timothy Richard Larson, 43, of Albertville, in northern Kandiyohi County.

County Attorney Jenna Fischer confirmed that the defense notice was filed in Huber's case.

The attorneys in the case, both public defenders and prosecutors from the county attorney's office, met with District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in his chambers Tuesday afternoon, but nothing happened on the record in the courtroom.

Under state court rules, a person who uses the mental illness defense is then evaluated to determine mental competency to proceed in the case. An omnibus hearing that had been set on Dec. 16 for Timothy Huber was also cancelled Tuesday. That is the hearing during which evidence is argued or other pretrial matters are typically handled.

Huber, 45, and his father, Delbert Huber, 81, both of rural Paynesville, were each indicted by a Kandiyohi County grand jury on Nov. 17 on first-degree premeditated murder charges. They also face second-degree intentional and unintentional murder charges for their roles in the shooting death.

Both Hubers have been in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail, the father on $5 million bail and the son on $1 million bail, since their arrests after Delbert Huber called 911 on the evening of Oct. 8 to report that he had shot someone.

Delbert Huber's next court hearing is Dec. 22. His niece, Cherry DeMarais, was at Tuesday's hearing for Timothy and said that she and her aunt in Sioux Falls, S.D., had not yet completed the bank loan paperwork to secure an attorney to represent Delbert.

DeMarais and Delbert Huber appeared in a hearing last week before District Judge Michael J. Thompson regarding Huber's lack of an attorney. They told the judge they would get the loan to get money to get a lawyer. That was the fourth of five hearings where Delbert Huber has appeared without legal representation. His request for a public defender was denied at his first appearance on Oct. 11 because he owns land in Stearns and Kandiyohi counties.

According to court records, Delbert Huber is accused of shooting Larson with a 303 British Enfield rifle during a confrontation over the fact that Larson ordered the Hubers and their farm equipment off farm property owned by Larson's father. Larson was unarmed and was allegedly shot by Delbert Huber while Timothy Huber fed the cattle and chickens at Norman Larson's farm.

According to the complaints against them, the Hubers left Larson's body at the farm along 44th Street Northeast and did not report the killing to law enforcement until more than 12 hours later.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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