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Entries in Amy Senser (3)

Tuesday
Jul102012

Amy Senser Sentenced to 41 Months in Hit-and-Run Death

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amy Senser, the wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser, claimed to be deeply remorseful after receiving her 41-month prison sentence for killing Anousone Phanthavong in a hit-and-run accident last year.

"I'm sorry...I hope you can believe me.  I never saw your son that night, and if I had, I would have stopped to help him," Senser, 45, told Phanthavong's family at her sentencing Monday.

Senser hugged Phanthavong's mother and told her that she tattooed her late son's name on her wrist.

"We felt a relief to [hear her] actually speak for herself and just hear her apology," said the victim's niece, Cindy Phanthavong.

"All that they've wanted in this criminal proceeding was for justice to be served and they're thankful that that was accomplished," said James Ballentine, attorney for the Phanthavong family.

Senser testified in May that she knew she had hit something on the night of August 23, but said she believed it was a pothole or construction cone.  She said she didn't see 38-year-old Phanthavong.

When asked to describe what the feeling of the impact was like, Senser said, "I've never been in an accident so I wasn't quite sure if I'd hit a pothole or one of those construction signs."

Phanthavong, a restaurant cook, was fatally struck by Senser's sport utility vehicle as he refueled his stalled car on an Interstate 94 ramp in Minneapolis.

The highly charged case was taxing on the Senser family as it pitted stepdaughter against stepmother.

Senser's stepdaughter, 28-year-old Brittani Senser, said she coaxed her stepmother to admit her role in the accident more than a week after the crash.  Brittani Senser, an aspiring pop singer, testified that she was angry after media reports linked her to the accident.

Brittani Senser discussed her role in the situation on ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday.

"I don't feel like I forced her," she said.  "I was under the impression that my family was in complete compliance with authorities.  When the news broke and there wasn't a driver identified [there was] speculation that it could have been any of us.  I told them, because I knew … that she had to take responsibilities for what she'd done."

Brittani Senser also said that she is unsure how truthful her stepmother has been throughout the trial.

"I [do] believe that she is remorseful," she told Robin Roberts on GMA.  "But I kind of believe the judge.  It's hard to believe that you didn't know you hit something.  I don't know if she knew she'd hit a person.  It's hard to believe from the evidence that she didn't know she hit something."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
May042012

Amy Senser Found Guilty in Fatal Hit-and-Run Case

Hemera/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Amy Senser, the wife of former NFL star Joe Senser, was found guilty Thursday of two of three felony counts related to criminal vehicular homicide.

Senser was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident and failure to promptly report an accident, but was acquitted on the third felony charge of gross negligence. She was also convicted of misdemeanor careless driving.

The 45-year-old showed little emotion as the verdicts were read. She stared straight ahead. Jurors looked tense at the conclusion of the highly publicized trial in Hennepin County District Court, in Minnesota.

Anousone Phanthavong, a restaurant cook, was fatally struck by Amy Senser's sport utility vehicle as he refueled his stalled car on an Interstate 94 ramp in Minneapolis.

Senser is to remain free until sentencing on July 9. Each felony count was punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines suggested four years for each count. The misdemeanor carried a potential sentence of up to 90 days in jail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr262012

Hit and Run Trial Pits NFL Star's Daughter Against His Wife

Hemera/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- The daughter of a former NFL star testified in court Wednesday against her stepmother, who is on trial for a hit-and-run incident that left a man dead on a Minneapolis interstate ramp last summer.

Brittani Senser, an aspiring reality television star and singer, faced off against her stepmother Amy Senser in a Minneapolis courthouse Wednesday, where the wife of former Minnesota Vikings tight end Joe Senser is accused of the fatal hit-and-run.

Anousone Phanthavong, 38, was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle as he refueled his stalled car on an Interstate 94 ramp in Minneapolis on August 24.  Last September, an attorney for the Sensers said that Amy Senser was driving the vehicle that struck and killed Phanthavong.

Amy Senser, who faces three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In emotional testimony Wednesday, Brittani Senser detailed how she forced her stepmother to admit to the crime.  While testifying, Britanni said she was angry after media reports linked her to the accident; reports that the vehicle involved in the accident was registered to Joe Senser had surfaced immediately after Phanthavong's death.

Brittani was concerned, she told the court, because she and her fiancé knew Phanthavong's brother, and people began to ask her if she was involved in the man's death, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"I wanted my dad to stand up for me and say I didn't do it," she told jurors, adding, "for people to think I killed someone made me angry."

Amy Senser's defense lawyers countered that Brittani was actually angry that the hit-and-run had caused damage to her career -- saying that the 28-year-old was more upset about losing a charity singing gig than Phanthavong's death.

Late Wednesday, Joe Senser testified that his wife was not drunk the night of the crash.  He told the jury that his wife was on antibiotics for a sinus infection.  He said that when he asked her about the damage to their Mercedes-Benz the morning of Phanthavong's death, she told him she thought she had hit a traffic cone.

He said he became much more concerned when he saw a news report on Phanthavong's death, which indicated that parts found at the scene were of the similar model to their luxury vehicle.

"I said, 'Margaret is this you?  Were you in this area?'" Senser told the court he asked his wife -- referring to her by her middle name.  "She said, 'I had exited that ramp.'  I questioned her again.  I said, 'Are you sure you hit a construction barrel?'  She was adamant about it.  I said, 'There was someone struck here fatally, Margaret.'  She said there was no way."

"She said, 'I think you're going to be mad, but I think I hit a cone, a construction barrel,'" he told the court.

The 55-year-old former NFL star added that his wife didn't turn herself in until his daughter threatened she would go to the police.

Testimony resumes on Thursday. 

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