ST. MICHAEL, MN—Delbert Huber, the 82-year-old rural Paynesville man who pleaded guilty to shooting St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West teacher Timothy Larson last fall, has been sentenced to more than 30 years in prison.
Larson, a special education teacher who lived with his wife and two sons in Otsego, was 46.
Kandiyohi County Judge Michael Thompson sentenced the elder Huber to the maximum sentence allowed for second-degree murder after statements from both sides of the case Monday morning.
Thompson said Huber showed "no remorse" according to the county's official paper, the West Central Tribune.
Huber entered the plea of guilty to murder in the second degree Friday, Aug. 3 with a court-appointed counsel who was assisting him as he represented himself.
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Huber's son, Tim, also is charged with murder in the October shooting, which occurred on farm property owned by Timothy Larson's father west of Willmar.
The shooting, which occurred on Oct. 8, shocked the St. Michael-Albertville community. Larson joined the staff at St. Michael-Albertville Middle School West when it transitioned to a grade 5 to 8 building, back in 2009.
According to charges filed in Kandiyohi County Court last October:
Friday night, 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, claiming Larson stole $50 from Tim Huber and tractor parts from both men.
Later that morning, as Tim Huber fed chickens in the yard and tended to animals in a barn, Delbert Huber began to argue with 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,” he 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.”
Delbert then “chambered a round” in the rifle and pointed the rifle at the St. Michael-Albertville Middle School teacher. Delbert Huber said Larson was “dead right away” and didn’t move from where he lay.
At about 7 p.m., Timothy and Delbert Huber went back to the Larson farm. Timothy Huber did some chores, and Delbert Huber called 911 to inform officials he had “shot someone.”
When first interviewed, Timothy Huber told investigators he'd seen a fist fight between Larson and his father. He said the two were in a "brawl," and that his father had to defend himself.
However, when Kandiyohi County officials interviewed the two men again Sunday, Timothy Huber told officers there was no brawl. He added that he was told by his father to position the car in the Larson driveway so that it was pointed toward the entrance, in order to leave. He added that his father, Delbert, had never before brought a gun in his car.
Timothy Huber said he heard Larson tell his father that “you aren’t supposed to be out here.” He then heard arguing, saw gestures and then heard gunfire.
He came out of the barn, and his father said, “That’s it,” and told Timothy Huber to finish his chores, the complaint states.
Norman Larson, Tim Larson’s father, was interviewed by sheriff’s department investigators and told them Timothy Huber was hired to do chores, but that Delbert Huber would have “no reason to be on his property.”