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Huber trial: BCA experts testify about guns, letters, defense case Thursday

WILLMAR — Forensic scientists from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension testified this morning about the gun Delbert Huber used to shoot Timothy Larson and the letters that Timothy Huber wrote to Larson’s father, Norman Larson.

The testimony was heard in the ongoing murder trial of Timothy Huber in Kandiyohi County District Court. Witnesses for the state are expected to conclude this afternoon, with the defense beginning to present its case Thursday.

The trial is before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth. The jury is expected to receive the case as early as next week.

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.

Timothy 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 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.

Kurt Moline, BCA forensic scientist regarding firearms, testified that he examined the British-made Enfield bolt-action rifle, found that the firearm had no malfunctions and he test-fired the weapon without incident. Moline also testified that he attempted to get the gun to misfire, both with the safety on and off, and could not get the weapon to misfire.

Delbert Huber testified earlier in the case, and in his own court hearings, that the gun went off while he was holding it and pointing it at Timothy Larson as a way to get Larson to admit that Larson had taken money and tractor parts from the Hubers.

“Based on my testing, it did not discharge without my pulling the trigger,” Moline said.

In addition, a trigger pull test showed that 5.25 pounds was required to pull the trigger of the rifle, Moline testified.

Shawn Gallagher, BCA forensic scientist for questioned documents, testified that he compared known and questioned samples of writing by Timothy Huber and determined that Huber wrote the letters to Norman Larson that Larson later turned over to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office.

Members of the jury were allowed to read the letters after Gallagher testified about the letters.

Timothy Larson’s longtime friend Lee Gerhardson also testified, telling the court that he had hunted pheasants on the Huber property and that he had no feelings of violence toward the Hubers, in fact, Gerhardson said he paid Timothy Huber for working on his tractor, gave Huber clothing and paid for his meals.

Gerhardson also said he was in Broken Arrow, Okla., at the time of the shooting, attending Bible college there. He also said there was no reason why Timothy Larson would have mentioned his name to Timothy Huber during the confrontation between the two men the night before Larson was shot and killed.

Earlier testimony included that Timothy Larson told the Hubers that he was bringing his “gang,” including Gerhardson, to the Larson place. Delbert Huber testified that they were going to “do us in” while Huber took as killing him and his son.

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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