District Judge Michael Thompson has concluded that, in the interest of justice, standby counsel needs to be appointed for 81-year-old Delbert Huber, the rural Paynesville man facing first-degree murder charges for shooting and killing an Albertville man last fall.
The West Central Tribune reports that in an order filed May 9th, Thompson asks that the prosecution and Huber be prepared to discuss during a Wednesday court hearing whether Huber’s court case should continue with a jury trial starting June 18th or if the case should be delayed until after Aug. 1st. A key factor in the discussion is who pays for the attorney, the standby counsel, to answer Huber’s questions regarding court rules and procedures as Huber represents himself in the murder case.
Huber and his son, 46-year-old Timothy John Huber, were both indicted on first-degree murder charges for their roles in the Oct. 8th, 2011, death of 43-year-old Timothy Richard Larson on rural Belgrade property owned by Larson’s father. The penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison.
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.
The elder Huber 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 16th, which have been denied. His first attempt to get a public defender was denied because he owned land in Kandiyohi and Stearns counties.
Judge Thompson’s order states that if the trial dates remain as scheduled, then the county attorney’s office, as the prosecutor in the case, would be responsible for funding the standby counsel.