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Jury now deliberating in murder case against Timothy Huber

WILLMAR — The murder case against Timothy Huber is now in the hands of the jury.

The jury, six men and six women, received the case just after 2 p.m. this afternoon in Kandiyohi County District Court. The trial is before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth.

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 Timothy 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 Hubers’ farm tractors. The younger Huber is charged under the portion of Minnesota law referring to “liability for crimes of another,” which says that a person is criminally liable for the crime committed by another if the person “intentionally aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other to commit the crime.”

If he is convicted of the first-degree premeditated murder charge against him, Timothy Huber faces a sentence of life in prison. His father, now 82, is already serving the maximum sentence of 367 months in prison for second-degree murder, to which he pleaded guilty in August. According to the Department of Corrections, Delbert Huber is in the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault.

Timothy Huber has been held on $1 million bail in the Kandiyohi County Jail since the day of the killing.

This morning, the attorneys in the case presented their closing arguments to the jury. 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.

Fischer asked the jury not to forget what kind of person Timothy Larson was, a man trained in dealing with conflict and a respected teacher who dealt with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children, their parents and teachers every day.

“This is not a ‘who-done-it,’” Fischer said. “Delbert Huber pled guilty to intentional murder. The defendant is equally guilty. Delbert Huber wouldn’t have done it without the defendant.”

Fischer argued that the strained relationship between Timothy Huber and Timothy Larson showed motive, that Timothy Huber’s anger and disdain for Timothy Larson “simmered” for years beginning with Larson’s allowing other people to hunt on the Hubers’ land.

The simmering anger, Fischer argued, was refueled when Timothy Larson ordered Huber and the farm equipment off his father’s place, causing Timothy Huber to tell his father that Larson and his gang were going to do the Hubers in, and that there was money stolen, tractor parts missing and the tractors were vandalized.

“Huber’s anger has been fueled and is at a fever pitch,” Fischer said, adding that after the shooting, there was no surprise or shock by either Huber, because they knew what was going to happen, that Timothy Larson would be shot and killed.

Fischer also argued that Timothy Huber took affirmative actions, telling others not to go to the Larson place after the killing because he did not want them to discover Larson’s body.

She also noted that no witnesses ever agreed with the defense arguments about Timothy Huber being slow or mildly mentally retarded. Rather, Fischer argued, Timothy Huber was regarded as having a reputation as a go-to guy to fix tractors and equipment, especially the Belarus tractors.

Stephen Ferrazzano, defense attorney for Huber, argued that Timothy Huber did not plan Larson’s murder with his father and that Delbert Huber only formed the intent to kill Larson after the confrontation between Larson and the older Huber.

“(Timothy Huber) was not there when his father decided to kill Timothy Larson,” Ferrazzano argued. “He was doing what Norman Larson was depending on him to do, the chores.”

As for his client’s actions after the murder, Ferrazzano explained that the younger Huber was simply responding as he had to Delbert Huber’s actions.

“Timothy Huber is acting the way he’s always acted in the face of the things his father had done,” Ferrazzano said. “His whole life, he’s turned and walked away from the evil things his father has done.”

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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