Evidence from Amy Senser trial made public - New York News

PHOTO: Amy Senser's Mercedes SUV

Evidence from Amy Senser trial made public

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

For the first time, the public is getting a look at the evidence presented against Amy Senser, which led to three convictions in the hit-and-run trial that captivated the Twin Cities.

Jurors who spoke with FOX 9 News said the evidence swayed their opinion. Even though there was no direct evidence to concretely prove she knew she hit Anousone Phanthavong, the circumstantial evidence was enough to remove reasonable doubt.

More than 100 exhibits were presented to the jury, including phone logs, traffic barrels and photographs. Some of the images taken at the scene of the fatal crash were gruesome and disturbing.


"The big thing we decided is: The answer was in the room," said juror Jay Larson. "We were not going to be a hung jury."

Larson told FOX 9 News the jurors returned to the crime scene again and again. They talked about how Phanthavong's shoe was found by his car, where he stood to pour gas in the tank. His body was thrown 50 feet by the crash.

The on-ramp was dark, but the hazard lights on Phanthavong's car were clearly visible. Juror Dwight Seward said that was the key to their decision.

"That seemed to be the point where everyone -- there was an 'ah hah' moment," he recalled.

Senser told the court she thought she hit a traffic barrel, but the jury had one with him during deliberations to help them imagine the difference between that and a human.

They also had pictures of Senser's Mercedes SUV, which was recovered 24 hours after the crash. The front end was splattered with dried blood that looked like mud. Part of the car was even dragging against the wheels.

Jurors who spoke with FOX 9 News said they kept asking themselves what they would have done.

Maps of the cell phone towers also gave the jury an indication of how Senser zig-zagged that night, and they found themselves wondering if she was lost like she claimed or in a panic. Since her text messages were mysteriously erased, they were missing some crucial clues.

Yet, some of the text messages that were released give some insight into the complicated dynamics of the Senser family. In one, Brittani Senser -- who pressured her stepmother to come forward -- told Joe Senser, 'It's not your job to protect someone who probably wouldn't protect you if the shoes were on the other feet."

The 911 recordings are expected to be released in the coming days.

Senser will be sentenced on July 9 for convictions on two counts of criminal vehicular homicide and a lesser charge of careless driving. She faces up to four years in prison.

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