Amy Senser appeals vehicular homicide convictions

Amy Senser sentencing
Amy Senser, right, arrives Monday, July 9, 2012, at the Hennepin County Courthouse for her sentencing on two felony counts stemming from a fatal hit-and-run crash last summer. At left is her attorney Eric Nelson.
MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson

Amy Senser's attorney has filed an appeal to reverse her conviction on two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

Eric Nelson's appeal says the prosecution did not provide enough evidence at trial earlier this year to prove Senser knew she hit Anousone Phanthavong on a freeway ramp in August 2011.

Senser, wife of former Minnesota Viking player Joe Senser, admitted to driving the car that hit Phanthavong, 38, in August 2011, but she said she didn't know at the time she had hit a person.

Nelson also contends that if Senser's conviction is not overturned, she should get a new trial because of mistakes made by trial judge Daniel Mabley. Nelson said Mabley should have sequestered the jury or allowed a change in venue. Nelson said jurors should have been informed about the victim's toxicology reports, which would have allowed Senser to argue she wasn't the sole cause of the accident.

Senser, the wife of former Minnesota Viking Joe Senser, has begun serving 41 months in prison for Phanthavong's death. Judge Mabley denied Senser's request in September to be freed pending appeal, ruling that Senser's attorneys hadn't presented enough evidence that her appeal was likely to succeed. Mabley also took issue with Senser's defense, writing that she and her attorneys had sought to influence the case through the media since it began.

A spokesman for the Hennepin County Attorney's office declined to comment, saying they received the brief too late in the day.

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