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Rural Paynesville, Minn., murder suspect's trial mover to September

Delbert Huber1 / 2
Timothy Huber2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Delbert Huber's trial for the October 2011 killing of Timothy Richard Larson has been moved to September.

In a court hearing Wednesday, the 81-year-old rural Paynesville man agreed to move his two-week jury trial from June to September.

District Judge Michael J. Thompson set the trial to begin Sept. 4, with an omnibus hearing to handle any pretrial matters set for Aug. 9 in the case in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Huber, and his son, Timothy John Huber, 46, were both indicted on first-degree murder charges for their roles in the shooting death of the 43-year-old Larson at a rural Belgrade residence. They face life in prison.

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.

The elder Huber still doesn't have an attorney to represent him in the case. He told Thompson that his niece was trying to secure legal counsel, but that the last time he talked with her, she said "nothing" about a lawyer.

The delay of the trial will clarify the issue of who pays for Huber's standby counsel, an attorney to attend the hearings and trial and advise the defendant on court rules, procedures and law if he represents himself. A standby counsel does not act as a defense lawyer or strategize with the defendant.

Thompson ruled last week that, in the interest of justice, standby counsel should be appointed for Huber. However, the delay allows a new law to take effect on Aug. 1 that requires the State Court Administration to pay for the standby counsel.

The judge said the standby counsel will be dismissed from his duties if Huber has his own attorney and that the legal process isn't going to stop for Huber's delays.

"I urge you to do so (get an attorney) -- again, this is a serious matter," the judge said. "When our trial dates come up ... I don't see any reason to delay this matter."

Delbert Huber has been held on $5 million bail in the Kandiyohi County Jail since the shooting death. His son has also been jailed, on $1 million bail. Timothy Huber's next court appearance is Aug. 2.

The elder Huber, who now has a bushy white beard, was again wheeled into the courtroom in a wheelchair. He has appeared multiple times in court without a lawyer and has repeatedly said he and family members are attempting to hire an attorney. He 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.

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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