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Willmar, Minn., judge appoints emergency conservator for shooting suspect, mental evaluation for his son

Delbert Huber1 / 2
Timothy Huber2 / 2

WILLMAR -- District Judge Michael J. Thompson has appointed an emergency conservator to act on behalf of Delbert Huber, the 81-year-old rural Paynesville man indicted for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Timothy Richard Larson, 43, of Albertville on Oct. 8 in northern Kandiyohi County.

In an order filed Monday, Thompson appointed Thomas Jones, of the Willmar law firm Jones and Patock, to serve as emergency conservator for Huber. The order outlines that the conservator will inventory and preserve Huber's assets, provide for the retention of his defense counsel, pay sums required for his defense and other items as requested by the court. The order also notes that the emergency conservator shall appear at a Dec. 22 hearing to determine if the appointment of a public defense attorney for Huber is appropriate.

Huber has been in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $5 million bail since the day of the shooting. His niece, Cherry DeMarais of Howard Lake, appeared with him at a Nov. 29 hearing and stated that she was attempting to get financing, by mortgaging Huber's land, to get money to retain an attorney on his behalf.

DeMarais informed the court on Dec. 9 that she was not able to obtain the financing. However, Thompson's order notes that DeMarais did not tell the court during the Nov. 29 hearing that a quitclaim deed was filed on Nov. 28 with the Kandiyohi County Recorder's office. The deed transferred ownership of 80 acres of Huber's land to DeMarais and Elise G. Wagner. DeMarais previously indicated that Wagner is Huber's sister.

A quitclaim deed is a method for the owner of a piece of property to transfer ownership of that property to another person, usually without any warranty or guarantee as to other claims on the property.

Huber's original application for a public defender was denied because he owns 176 acres of land in Stearns and Kandiyohi counties.

Thompson's order does state that in is the intention of the court that the conservator be compensated by Huber's estate.

Huber and his son, Timothy John Huber, 45, were 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 the Oct. 8 shooting death of Larson.

In a Dec. 7 order, District Judge Donald M. Spilseth has ordered a mental competency evaluation for Timothy Huber. Huber's public defense attorneys had previously filed a notice that their client was either mentally ill or under duress. Spilseth ordered that Dr. Edmund Nadolny examine Huber, conduct a neuropsychology examination and report to the court about Huber's mental condition.

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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