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Friends: Timothy Huber obedient to abusive father

WILLMAR — Friends and neighbors of Timothy Huber testified Thursday morning that they witnessed Delbert Huber verbally and physically abuse his son and that the son was clearly subservient and obedient to his father.

They were witnesses in Timothy Huber’s ongoing murder trial in the killing of Timothy Larson in October 2011.  

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 on the Norman Larson property in rural Belgrade over allegedly stolen money and tractor parts and alleged vandalism of the Huber’s 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.

The trial is before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court. After the testimony, the jury was released until Monday morning. However, the attorneys in the case remained, meeting with Spilseth to argue the admissibility of testimony by potentially upcoming defense witnesses. There is no trial today because the judge is unavailable. The jury is expected to receive the case for deliberation early next week.

Walter Roeder, neighbor to Timothy Larson’s father, Norman, testified that Delbert Huber was a “thoroughly disagreeable person” who threatened his son when Timothy Huber didn’t work fast enough to fix a tractor while the Hubers were attempting to bale hay. Roeder had earlier testified, as a state witness, about the Hubers’ failed hay baling efforts on the afternoon before the murder.

Gene David Lauer, a neighbor to the Hubers’ homestead near Paynesville, testified that Timothy Huber showed him a bad bruise on Huber’s head and that Huber told him his father, Delbert, had inflicted the wound. Lauer said he asked Timothy Huber why he did not leave his father and make his own way.

The son’s response was “Jane and Harvey,” which Lauer took to mean Huber’s mother and uncle, who also lived at the Huber residence at the time.

“It was as if he had to be there to protect, to be a buffer between Delbert and them,” Lauer said, adding that Delbert dominated what Lauer saw of the relationship between the father and son. “What Delbert said was what went forth.”

Edward Rossman, also a neighbor to the Hubers, earlier testified that Timothy Huber helped him hang siding in the hours after the murder, but before it was reported to law enforcement.

Rossman, this time as a defense witness, testified that Delbert Huber told him about hitting Timothy Huber in the head with a baseball bat. When Rossman later questioned Timothy Huber about it, Rossman said the son called it a “misunderstanding” and that Timothy Huber’s eyes were “cross-eyed” for a couple of weeks after that.

Lucas Bemboom, another Huber neighbor who had previously testified in the trial, said he saw Delbert Huber hit his son with a cane and with a pair of gloves and said that Timothy Huber simply moved away from his father after he was struck.

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.

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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