Witnesses testify in Senser trial

Amy Senser
In this Sept. 16, 2011, file photo, Amy Senser leaves with her husband, former Minnesota Vikings football star Joe Senser, right, after a court appearance in Minneapolis. Prosecutors allege she hit 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong of Roseville on a freeway ramp last year as he was putting gas into his car.
AP Photo/The St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jean Pieri, File

Testimony began Tuesday in the Amy Senser hit and run trial.

Senser, the wife of former Minnesota Vikings star Joe Senser is charges with running down 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong on a freeway exit ramp last August.

Witnesses testified that they saw Phanthavong's body lying face down on the Interstate 94 off ramp to Riverside Avenue. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Deborah Russell played recordings of 911 calls from three people. One witness sobbed to the 911 operator, "I'm pretty sure he's dead."

The first person to find Phanthavong's body was a registered nurse, but he arrived too late to help save Phanthavong. Brian Gutterman testified Tuesday morning that he came upon the body while on his way to work the night shift at the University of Minnesota-Fairview Medical Center.

Gutterman said he walked up to Phanthavong's body and rubbed his back and tried to rouse him. He said the body was cool to the touch and he estimated Phanthavong had been dead for about two minutes.

Witnesses also said the crash scene was dark. But they said they had no trouble seeing the flashing hazard lights on Phanthavong's car.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said Senser didn't know she hit Phanthavong and said she will testify later about what she saw and felt on that night.

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