County Attorney: Amy Senser’s Trial Should Proceed

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Though her attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case, the Hennepin County Attorney says Amy Senser’s trial should proceed.

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office filed its memorandum opposing the motion to dismiss Senser’s charges in the wake of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong’s hit-and-run death, saying “sufficient evidence exists to establish probable cause for each of the charges in the complaint.”

Panthavong was killed on Aug. 23, 2011 after being struck by a vehicle along the Riverside Avenue exit from westbound Interstate 94. Senser was charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

The amended charges claimed that Senser should’ve had at least four seconds to notice Phanthavong on the side of the road. The charges also included a statement from a witness who claimed to have seen Senser’s vehicle driving erratically, dipping between lanes and moving at inconsistent speeds.

Senser’s attorney Eric Nelson claims the case against his client lacks probable cause, and argued that Phanthavong had enough cocaine in his system to be “moving erratically and unpredictably.”

After the amended charges were released, Nelson stated he did not think the complaint proved she knew she hit a person. He said the evidence against Senser is purely circumstantial.

On Friday, a memorandum filed by county attorney Michael O. Freeman called the motion for dismissal “entirely inappropriate” and said it “should not be considered at this point in the proceedings.”

Freeman said the case is distinguishable in a number of ways from the primary case cited by Nelson as grounds for dismissal — the 2010 case of Minnesota vs. Al-Naseer. Among those differences, according to Freeman, is the fact that the crash happened on an exit ramp, not a country road carrying higher speed limits, and the lack of evidence suggesting Senser was asleep at the wheel at the time of impact, as was the defendant in the 2010 case.

Freeman’s memorandum included examples of Senser’s actions to suggest there is enough probable cause to think that Senser knew she had struck a person that night to put the question to a jury.

Nelson responded, saying he intended to file a written reply to the memorandum next week.

“The defense is concerned that such actions are merely a veiled attempt to influence potential jurors,” wrote Nelson in a statement to the media. “The Government continues to pander to the media fueling pure speculation about Ms. Senser having been impaired at the time of the accident. These allegations are currently being made in the guise of a court motion and are contrary to the State’s own evidence on this very point.”

Senser is the wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser.

  • X-Puffer

    Sick of this news.
    Same old creepy picture too.

    • Incompetent Lawyer

      Nice defense comment that he was “moving erratically and unpredictably.” If someone where moving that way in front of my car, I would surely notice them. it contradicts his statements that she had no idea this man that was “moving erratically and unpredictably.” was struck by my car, to the point that is sustained massive damage. The ‘clueless’ defense doesn’t cut it.

  • eathelbard

    Yes – please stop using that cracked-up mug shot. Hurts my eyes.

    • idknockthebottomoutofit

      What!!!! She’s smoking hot.

      • who knows


  • politicianssux

    If there is justice in this life or the next you will be held to the same standard you hold others to.

  • See BS

    Anyone could have hit that man on the freeway, it was an accident.

    • Jeff Sensers

      Pretty soon the free booze and burger @ Joe Sensers will get old.
      Maybe I suggest you up the fee for schilling to at least a place that serves a good steak?

      • Kook you are

        She hits something-she acknowledges that
        She supposedly just drives home and parks in the garage-she staes that.
        She DOESN’T even look at that point to see the damage?? In her own GARAGE???
        She doesn’t see the blood huh??????
        See BS – you truly are an idiot of a kind rarely seen, maybe a member or friend of the Senser clan or …. hired by Nelson to plant a seed only a feelow fool would buy.
        Any way it’s cut you are a POS and I pray your mom doesn’t do any walking around where there are suvs or cars

      • @ BS

        It’s not the accident, it’s the denial and lack of accountability. No doubt it was an accident; no doubt she handled it like a criminal. She’s a terrible person that did a horrible thing after her (drunken) accident. That’s the point

        • See BS

          If it had been Al Gore, or the owner of the crave that hit someone on the freeway. WCCO would have just showed a State Trooper, talking about how dangerous it is to get out of your car on the busiest freeways in the entire state.

          We wouldn’t even know the victim had drugs in his system.

      • Jeff Senser

        only if one is guilty as sin and chooses to flee. ;-)

    • tamjam

      You are deluded. Even accidents have consequences.

    • common sense

      you are an idiot they proved the car already, and from what i have heard from an ex employee at sensers bar and grill or whatever the name is, is that Amy would come in every afternoon and get drunk what a dumb spoiled little female dog she deserves to be in jail or at least to be out on bail, her husband was a football player and they have a lot of money… that doesnt make her a good person, you and i have to pay for our “mistakes” why shouldnt she.

  • Guy

    She is a murderer and her husband is a co conspiritor.

  • Realist

    The only way you hit and kill someone on an off ramp is if you are a drunk!

    Don’t worry your kids can visit you in prison Amy.

    It’ll be cool when Joe Sensor’s restaurants turn into Thai restaurants when the family wins the civil suits as well ;)

    • ez

      I think Joe is only the front person for Joe sensors. I am pretty sure that someone else owns the majority stake and used him for the name.

    • llp

      Will you be the first in line

  • RJ

    maybe anyone could of hit that man , but her vehicle did, she said she was driving and she left the scene and left the poor man for dead!!!

  • See BS

    Local Media is fascist — they put up mug shots and deprive people of having a fair and impartial trail.

    Like the court scenes in the film “idiocracy”

    • Real Talk

      Dude…”See BS” is just some crazy old kook. He rarely strings 2 or more coherent sentences together. He is always spouting off about some conspirosy theory. He wears a tin-foil hat so the aliens cant read his thoughts. Dont get to riled over his comments…the man just needs some mental help & meds.

      • Neighbor and dislike BS guy

        ^this one is costing Amy bigtime…she’ll have to swallow all twice.

        • See BS

          No — The Government is suppose to be finding the people who shot that 3 year old in North Minneapolis after a riot at the Mall of America.

          Strange how Amy Sensor is a bigger deal.

    • HangMan

      They should do a show on how an imbecile makes it in todays world and showcase you See BS. Maybe collecting your daily schill fee from Joe-Joe’s pub.
      That’d be a great shot of serving a minor too and cost them a liquer license too.
      let’s git ‘er done today chitter

    • at BS


  • Wee Willie

    Amy is a murderer and Joe is her co conspiritor in murder.

  • MrB

    BS you really are full of BS aren’t you!

  • Mason

    The prosecutor is blowing the case.

  • llp

    Senser’s attorney Eric Nelson should be dismissed

  • Ben Dover

    I can only hope I’m on the jury, This dude was tooted up wandering on the exit ramp too high to even realize he didnt have any gas. NOT GUILTY…its simple

    • HangMan

      That’s cool there lil’ boy. Kind of a grandiose manner to cleanse the world huh? Shucks – head on ocer to MOA or Southdale any day of the week ot time of day and half the aprking lot’s high on scripts or booze or caffeine or dope. Get ’em all now chithead…’s ok ya say. get ’em now

  • Larry

    get her behind bars already!!! so sick of seeing that scary pic of her! FYI BS had Amy stopped when she hit that young man and called 911 it would of been considered an ‘accident’ it ceased to be just an ‘accident’, as you claim ,when she willingly and knowingly drove off to leave the man to die!!!! it became a ‘crime’ at that point,,a vehicle homicide.Only a heartless drunk would of done that, which Amy was that night She better be conficted and thrown in jail for a good long time. justice for that Laotion man is way over due!!

    • Real Talk

      The problem Larry…is that BS is literally crazy. You cannot reason with him like a sane person. He is this way in all his posts. Probably some Vietnam Vet that got too much agent orange.

      Anyone who has driven for more than a day and has an IQ over 75 knows it is impossible to hit a 100lb object with your moving vehicle and yet be unware that anything is amiss. She was drunk or wantonly tried to kill the guy…one of the two.

  • Lagerhops

    When a pedestrian’s intoxication level can be used as an excuse to render drivers blameless then Uptown Minneapolis will become a legal killing field on Friday nights.

    • Dead on there

      as will every pub parking lot, every walk that leads away from the X, Target field, the old Dome, many restaurants, malls, conferences and conventions……shoot, we’d soon have an empty planet almost. lol

  • tamjam

    I’m really tired of the defense attorney saying that since she didn’t know she hit a person, she’s innocent. So I can drive drunk as a skunk, so drunk I can’t really see straight, and kill people with my car and it’s OK? Because I don’t know I’m killing people it’s OK? That is just the weirdest argument.

  • Murf

    I think Amy should put herself in the victim’s family shoes and the victim himself….if this were her child would she want the person responsible to have the charges drop against them? I don’t think so. How you can hit something or someone and not stop is beyond me….she may just get away with murder.

  • rita

    he wasn’t on the freeway – he was on the off ramp. not anyone could have hit that man…people stand alongside their vehicles actually pulled off on the freeway every day and aren’t killed. she or her daughter did it. period.

  • l

    accident or no accident, the fellow died, was hit by her and we need a trial to prove it all and then send her off to jail if so proven guilty. the crime is that lawyer trying to convince the public the victim was at fault. you cannot convince me that she didnt realize she hit something. and who was serving her drinks and allowed her to get behind the wheel? hmm? people with money can afford a cab, afford to drink afford the cab. dang dumb indiots

  • Coolbreeze

    “Phanthavong had enough cocaine in his system to be “moving erratically and unpredictably.”
    Yes! Blame the dead guy!
    Lawyers are the greasiest slime-balls on the planet.

  • lek

    She killed him and ran from the scene.

    Papa Joe knew exactly what happened, and he tried to cover it up.

    Both can rot.

    By the way, I had a very healthy constitutional at the restaurant last week and left it for Papa Joe.

    • BK the family

      ^ on the counter I hope ^
      come summer I suspect the fun will really begin

  • Saw BS

    Joe called and had me confused with See ….. offered me use of the spouse if I’d blow up one of his places. Needs the insurance $$$ to pay Nelson… he can bribe a juror and maybe the judge.
    here ye, here ye

  • TaxPayer2011

    You’ll see, she will walk?

  • joe s

    looks like she has big juggs.

  • john

    there is a rumor that one of the sensers daughters is friends or is dating LEVI the gentlemen who is the father of Bristol Palins baby. I guess they met while she was pursuing a singing career in california a few years back . Anyhow I understand that Levi was in town the weekend this accident happened . I wonder if anyone has followed up on that also. would he have to come back and give a statement.

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