Earlier this month, the wife of former Vikings tight end Joe Senser was convicted on a pair of felony counts relating to a hit-and-run incident in August 23 that resulted in death. On Friday, Amy Senser’s lawyer filed a motion for a new trial, according to David Hanners of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The shotgun-approach request, which outlines a laundry list of mistakes allegedly made by the trial judge, is in most jurisdictions a prerequisite to a formal appeal.
Amy Senser’s attorney raises a broad range of factors and decisions that allegedly deprived Senser of a fair trial. Like many of these motions do, this one creates the impression that the judge presided over a comedy of errors.
Amy Senser claimed that she thought she hit a construction barricade, like a traffic barrel. Instead, she struck 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong, sending him 50 feet through the air and ending his life.
She faces up to four years in prison.
Joe Senser, 55, played only four seasons for the Vikings. In 1981, he caught 79 passes for 1,004. After football, he remained in Minnesota and became a restauranteur. The story initially captured the attention of the media in part because it wasn’t known whether Joe Senser, Amy Senser, or another person had been driving the vehicle owned by the Sensers.
A hearing on the motion will occur within 15 days.
Despite the kitchen-sink approach utilized by attorney Eric Nelson, some lawyers believe the better strategy in situations like this is to identify two or three of the best and strongest arguments, cutting loose weaker points that tend only to dilute the stuff that could get someone’s attention, either at the trial court level or higher up the legal food chain.
Thankfully, those are decisions I haven’t had to make for nearly three years. Instead, I just have to figure out when to stop writing and when to press the “publish” button.
Sometimes it’s an easy decision. Sometimes it isn’t.
Sometimes, I just need to quit typing and do it already.