Amy Senser to Appear in Court on New Felony Charge | News
Amy Senser is expected in court Thursday morning to face a new felony charge.
As 5 Eyewitness News reported Tuesday, Senser, the wife of former Viking Joe Senser, is now charged with failing to immediately notify police after a deadly hit-and-run in Minneapolis in August. Some legal experts believe this new charge is simply a way for prosecutors to hedge their bets, so at least one of their arguments that Senser is guilty resonates in court.
Senser has never spoken publicly about this incident, only issuing a single statement to confirm she was driving the car that killed Anousone Phanthavong on August 23rd of last year. The new charge against her indicates prosecutors don't think that's enough.
Bradford Colbert, a criminal law expert and professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul said, "Originally the charge was failing to stop. There is another subdivision of the statute which provides that after you stop you need to notify law enforcement. But if her defense is 'I didn't know that there was an accident' then that is a defense to both charges."
Following the death of Phanthavong, Senser turned over a Mercedes ML350 that investigators said was covered with blood on the hood, and had a dented fender and broken fog light and headlight. Prosecutors say Phanthavong's body was thrown at least 40 feet by the force of the impact.
Some legal experts believe the new charge filed Friday against Senser seems to indicate prosecutors doubt Senser's defense team's statements that she was completely unaware she hit anything the night of August 23rd.
According to Colbert, "They don't have to prove that she knew she hit someone or that she killed someone or that someone was injured. All they have to show is that she knew she had been in an accident, which makes their case easier."
But Colbert also points out that Senser's attorneys can argue that even if she knew she hit something that night, people have a Fifth Amendment Constitutional right to not incriminate themselves -- and therefore she had no obligation whatsoever to call police that night.