MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Witnesses say that the wife of an ex-Vikings star should have had ample time to avoid striking and killing a 38-year-old man last fall, according to amended charges.
Prosecutors recently amended the charges Amy Senser currently faces, adding a second felony count of criminal vehicular operation in the hit-and-run death of Anousone Phathavong.
The second count was added because prosecutors say Senser did not contact police quickly enough. She admitted hitting Phathavong a week after the crash.
The recently amended charges say a witness informed police after the crash that they saw a vehicle Senser later admitted to driving exit from westbound Interstate 94 onto Riverside Avenue.
The witness told police a vehicle was parked on the right side of the ramp with hazard lights blinking. The witness said the driver should have had plenty of time to slow down.
According to accident reconstruction, investigators estimate Senser would’ve had at least four seconds to see Phathavong standing near his Honda on the side of the ramp.
The charges include another statement from a witness who claimed to have seen Senser’s vehicle driving erratically, dipping between lanes and moving at inconsistent speeds.
“What the facts shows is: Clearly she was in the area, clearly she was around after the accident — her own acknowledged statement, which is part of probable cause,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
According to the complaint, investigators believe a number of texts were deleted from Amy Senser’s phone. She was in communication with her husband as well as their two daughters that evening, as they were attending a Katy Perry concert at the Xcel Energy Center and she was going to provide transportation for them and their friends.
According to the amended complaint, Senser’s husband — former Vikings player Joe Senser — picked their children up from the concert.
One of their daughter’s friends heard Joe Senser call Amy Senser, saying he had picked up their daughters and telling Amy to “just go home.” The friend reported seeing Amy Senser asleep on a couch on the porch when they got home.
According to the criminal complaint, phone records also indicate Joe Senser called his wife’s brother, who is a police officer in Edina, for advice on possible attorneys to contact if one had been “hypothetically involved” in an accident.
Senser appeared in a Hennepin County courtroom earlier this month for only a few minutes. A judge did not let Senser enter a plea because her defense attorneys filed a new brief with the court. The judge needed time to review it before allowing her to enter the plea.
Senser is due back in court in March. The judge set a trial date for April.