Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Amy Senser’s attorney does not think the amended complaint filed Monday proves she knew she hit a person.
It includes new information as to Senser’s whereabouts and calls made the night of August 23rd, 2011, but it’s all circumstantial evidence.
A trial for Senser hasn’t even started, but Hamline University law professor, Joe Daly, already knows the case will be one he uses in his classroom for years to come.
“I could prosecute this case based on the complaint and also defend it,” said Daly.
“It’s not an open and shut case at all.”
It appears the case will be argued purely on circumstantial evidence, some of which is included in the criminal complaint. Among the evidence, a series of phone calls in the vicinity of the crash that night to Senser’s phone, a witness who places someone matching Senser’s description at the scene of the accident 40 minutes later. It also includes blood on the bumper of Senser’s vehicle.
“The judge is going to say to the pool of jurors just because it’s circumstantial doesn’t mean it’s not good evidence,” said Daly.
However, Senser’s attorney, Eric Nelson, will argue that it’s not good evidence and that nowhere in the criminal complaint does it say Amy Senser knew she hit a person. Nelson argues the series of calls to her family don’t indicate a person trying to cover up a crash
“If you know you hit a person, do you call your husband or daughter? The first call to Joe isn’t until 40 minutes later,” said Nelson.
The complaint also includes cell tower information from a series of phone calls taken after the accident. But Nelson points out that the cell phone tower locations aren’t as reliable as a GPS that can pinpoint someone’s whereabouts to a matter a feet. He said her driving pattern indicates someone who is lost, which he explains may also be a reason for a witness seeing someone who matched her description near the accident later that night.
“Whether Mrs. Senser would associate lights with something an hour ago is a question,” said Nelson.
While questions remain as to what Senser knew that night, Daly believes it’s no longer a question of this case will move forward in the legal process.
“I think there’s enough probable cause,” said Daly.
Senser’s attorney also says there is precedent for a case like this where the Supreme Court sided with the defendant, Mohammed Al-Naseer.
The circumstantial evidence was similar, but the state could not prove that the driver, Al Naseer, knew he hit a person. Therefore, he had no obligation to stop and report it.