Senser’s wife seeks new trial


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.

21 responses to “Senser’s wife seeks new trial

  1. That’s a lawyer for you, five hundred words when 10 will do. Push the button already.

  2. Another non football story on a football web site. Who care about this, start writing for TMZ if this is the stuff you want to write about

  3. I don’t get this country, kill someone with a gun or knife or even strangulation or poison and you looking at 20-life maybe even the death penalty…but drunk drivers and those who kill with a vehicle and max is maybe 10 yrs…this is crazy.

  4. Yeah because 4 years of your life means more than a nobodys life, take responibility do the time because you get to go back to your family while his family is left with a void

  5. I for one appreciate Florio’s legal background and his use of it as it pertains to the sports stories of the day. Once again, well done Mike.

  6. Wow, way to use something not even 1% football related basically to make the joke at the end about lawyering versus publishing a blog. Douche.

  7. This is ridiculous. If she was anyone but a Caucasian woman she would’ve been behind bars already. And this is coming from a white person.

  8. Donte Stalworth received a extremely lenient sentence for vehicle manslaughter and he was drunk when he ran down a man in Miami. Money talks and BS walks. Apparently Senser doesn’t have the financial resources to pay-off the appropriate people.

  9. torrigjp says: May 18, 2012 8:32 PM

    I’m all for humor, but this article was neither funny nor appropriate
    Didn’t you just get convicted of two felonies, Amy? You have bigger things to worry about.

  10. I don’t comment much but that article has your background written all over it. Sorry, but I kept reading hoping that it was news worthy. It didn’t happen.

  11. Something tells me a phone was somehow related to the cause of the accident. I don’t know about you, but I’ve driven through a lot of cone zones and never hit a barrel.

  12. You know this whole thing just stinks and shows why the “justice system” is nothing of the kind. I don’t care if some lawyer goofed in protocol etc. Did the person do the crime? Yes? Then serve the sentence. technicalities are NOT > than ACTUAL justice. The pleas should be “did it” & “didn’t do it”, not “guilty” or “not guilty”.

    The worst I ever saw was a scumbag defense lawyer who got his drunk client off because the technician drawing the blood for the test has an expired license to practice. Like that has ANYTHING to do with if the scum was driving drunk or not.

  13. You might have mentioned that the primary reason for this is that the jury wrote a note to the judge before the verdict was read, which said they believed her story that she didn’t know she hit a person but they were convicting her of hitting a vehicle. She didn’t hit a vehicle and she wasn’t on trial for hitting a vehicle. So they essentially convicted her of something she wasn’t on trial for and she demonstrably did not do, and they said she didn’t do what she was on trial for doing. Seems like a new trial is not out of the question.

  14. It ain’t justice till you can’t afford it.

    As long as you have money, you have a chance.

  15. Does it really matter what she thought she hit? She was driving drunk and killed another human being lock her up behind bars already. The only reason she was not charged with DWI. Is because she waited a couple of days to sober up. Before she turned herself in.

  16. First,thankheavenfornumberseven read the stories, then shoot your mouth off.

    “Jurors who found Amy Senser guilty of criminal vehicular homicide last week concluded the woman believed she had hit a car and not the pedestrian she was accused of killing, according to a note the jury sent the judge.”

    The note read as follows:

    “Can this be read in the court room in front of Ms. Senser?” forewoman Shana Ford, 44, wrote. “We believe, she believed she hit a car or vehicle and not a person.”

    From a legal standpoint, the jury’s view that Senser believed she had hit a vehicle instead of Phanthavong matters little.

    Hennepin County District Judge Daniel Mabley instructed jurors that if they believed Senser knew she had caused an injury or death, or had damaged another vehicle, she had an obligation to stop.

    The law also required her to notify police about the crash as soon as possible.

    Different than your f ‘d up comment. You’re about as dumb an ass as the attorney filing the motions.

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