Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One day after the jury delivered a verdict in the Amy Senser hit-and-run trial, jurors are describing the discussion in the deliberation room.
Juror Jay Larson said there was never a concern that the jury wouldn’t come to agreement. He said the group decided from day one that there was enough information to deliver a verdict.
“It was not easy,” he said. “There was a lot of emotion during several times there.”
As one of the 12 jurors, nine days of his life were consumed with a crash that killed Anousone Phanthavong last August.
For nearly 20 hours, Larson and his fellow jurors debated three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide and one misdemeanor.
Larson said the biggest hang-up was on the failure to stop charge and whether she knew she hit a person.
“She testified she didn’t know,” Larson said. “We basically came back to say: we think you knew.”
Larson said he went “back and forth” many times throughout the deliberation process.
Larson said jurors spent most of the time looking at Senser’s testimony and comparing it to the evidence, which included cellphone records and damage to the SUV.
All the while they kept one question in mind: What would a reasonable person do?
“We would sit there and all put things in our perspective and say, ‘Look: this is what I would do if I were them,’” Larson said.
Although the trial has ended, Larson can’t help but reflect on it. However, he has no doubt the jury came to the right decision.
“As a group, we were very clear,” he said. “We came back in as jury…and had a moment to ourselves; and we all were very clear, we all agreed that we had made the right verdict.”
Larson also said that as the verdict was read he didn’t look at Senser. He didn’t want that to be his last memory of the case.
The jurors dismissed the gross negligence charge, Larson said, because there was no evidence that she was driving drunk.