In another attempt to overturn Amy Senser’s felony criminal vehicular homicide convictions, her attorney is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to consider her case.
Defense attorney Eric Nelson has petitioned the state’s highest court a month after the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld Senser’s convictions, ruling the evidence was clear that she knew she struck a car or a person when she left the scene of a fatal accident nearly two years ago.
Senser was convicted in May 2012 for striking and killing Anousone Phanthavong, a popular chef at True Thai restaurant in Minneapolis, as he was putting gas in his car on the Riverside Avenue exit ramp of Interstate 94. She was sentenced to 3 ½ years at the Minnesota women’s prison in Shakopee.
The wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser has said she didn’t know she hit a person on the darkened freeway ramp but thought she hit a traffic barrel before she continued driving.
In his appeal, Nelson takes issue with the district court’s decision not to allow a note from the jury to be read in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. The jury’s handwritten note asks: “Can this be read in the courtroom in front of Ms. Senser? We believe, she believed she hit a car or vehicle and not a person.”
Nelson also has argued the jury should have been allowed to hear evidence that Phanthavong had a high level of cocaine in his system when he was killed.
Mary Lynn Smith