The Minnesota State Supreme Court has sent the case of Timothy Huber, the now 50-year-old accomplice in the murder of St. Michael-Albertville teacher Timothy Larson, back to the lower court, overturning his 4o-year sentence.
The state’s highest court handed down the ruling in a decision that surprised many connected to the Larson family. Timothy Huber was convicted on second-degree murder charges after his father, the late Delbert Huber, gunned down Larson on the family’s property in Belgrade back in 2011.
The state ruled the attorneys prosecuting the case using “accomplice liability” during the trial did not meet the burden of such a prosecution, and, in turn, incorrect instructions were handed down to the jury when sentencing for the younger Huber was decided.
According to the West Central Tribune, which covered the Kandiyohi County Court proceedings, “Wednesday’s ruling states that the instructions to the jury should have explained that the prosecution must prove the defendant ‘knew his alleged accomplice was going to commit a crime and the defendant intended his presence or actions to further the commission of that crime.’”
Timothy Huber was a key witness to the events that led to Timothy Larson’s death, standing by while his father, Delbert, pulled the trigger to the rifle that killed him, serving as driver of the get-away vehicle and returning to the farm later the same day when his father called in his crime.
The Oct. 8 shooting was the result of an argument between Delbert and Timothy Larson over farm equipment, a lost wallet and broken machinery, among other things, according to court records.
In testimony and in statements to police, Timothy Huber said he witnessed all of it, from the verbal exchange to his father’s bringing a gun in the car to the Larson property the following morning, something Timothy Huber said his father “hadn’t done before.”
The night of the first incident Tim Larson asked Timothy Huber to leave Tim’s father’s property and not to return until Monday, when Larson would be finished with a weekend duck hunt.
Prior to leaving, Larson told Timothy Huber to move hay-bailing equipment that was on the property to a neighbor’s. Huber called for help, asking his father to come assist, something that angered both Huber men. Larson told the men he was “in charge” while his father was at a wedding, and wanted the bailing to wait until Monday.
Instead, the Hubers came back Saturday, stating Larson stole $50 from Tim Huber and tractor parts from both men.
Later that morning, as Tim Huber did chores in the yard and tended to animals in a barn, Delbert Huber began to shout at Larson, retrieved a 303 Enfield rifle, and shot Larson in the chest, killing him.
The complaint continues:
The two Huber men drove back to the Larson farm Saturday morning, despite instructions from Larson to put off their chores until Monday.
The elder Huber believed Larson—who confronted the two men on his arrival at the farm Friday night to find out why they were there—took money and valuable tools from them.
“We had to defend ourselves,” Delbert said to investigators after his arrest, adding that he was “tired of their stuff getting busted up.”
But investigators did not find anything to confirm Larson had taken money or tools.
As Timothy Huber did chores 7 a.m. Saturday, Larson arrived back at the farm. According to the older Huber, he and Larson began arguing, both outside of their vehicles, located in the farmyard.
The account continues that Delbert Huber told authorities he went to his son’s car and grabbed the rifle.
“I thought I could go and grab the rifle and make him admit he took the money and get the money back,” Delbert told authorities. “I thought I could scare him and get him to give the money back.”
Timothy Huber was given a mental evaluation prior to his 2012 trial, and eventually cleared. He was convicted in conjunction with his father and was in the midst of a 40-year term.
Family members of Timothy Larson, including his wife Debra, who has since remarried, are hoping for proceedings to take place away from court, according to sources confirmed by North Wright County Today.
Huber, who was being held in the state penitentiary in Rush City, will be transferred back to Kandiyohi County Jail after the Supreme Court ruling is enacted, records state. It is not known if and when a trial will be scheduled.
Kandiyohi County attorneys will build its case around the same criminal complaint and basic evidence used in the first trial. Huber will again face a second-degree murder charge.