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Jury to get Huber case this afternoon, attorneys present closing arguments

WILLMAR — The jury will begin deliberating in the Timothy Huber murder trial this afternoon.

Attorneys in the first-degree murder case made their closing arguments to the jury this morning in Kandiyohi County District Court.

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.

County Attorney Jenna Fischer asked the jury not to forget what kind of person Timothy Larson was, a man trained in dealing with conflict and respected teacher who dealt with emotionally and behavior 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 the 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 Huber’s 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 didn’t want them to discover the Larson’s body.

She also noted that no witnesses ever agreed with the public defender’s statements 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 didn’t 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.”

The trial is before District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court.

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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