What's next for Amy Senser?

11:57 AM, May 4, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The end of the Amy Senser criminal trial marks the beginning of other legal matters, most notably the civil case.

The family of Anousone Phanthavong filed a civil case against Joe and Amy Senser months ago and its status is unclear.

What is very clear is that something is happening but that no one is talking about it.

"I am not going to comment on that today," Jim Ballentine, the attorney in the civil case representing the Phanthavong family said after the verdict in the criminal trial.

"I think that there will be an announcement from our office within the next few days about the status of the civil proceeding," he went on to say.

If that announcement is one of a settlement it could be one of relief in a sense to both the Senser and Phanthavong families, another trial would be emotionally difficult, to say the least, for everyone.

But beyond the civil case is the promise of an appeal by Amy Senser's defense attorney Eric Nelson.

"Obviously we will appeal certain decisions that I think the court made. Miss Senser got a fair trial and the opportunity to be heard and I'm disappointed with the decision but we will move on," Nelson said moments after the verdict was read in court.

And finally, what is next for Amy Senser?

Judge Daniel Mabley did not decide to have her sent to jail before sentencing so she is free on bail.

But that freedom, according to Nelson, isn't all that comforting as Senser faces a possible four-year prison term.

"I think she is prepared for that possibility but it certainly scares her," Nelson said.

Nelson says he will ask at sentencing for a downward departure from the four-year sentencing guideline but also added in the interim his client will likely focus on the days ahead as precious days with her family.

"I am sure she will spend a lot of time with her girls and focus on how to have a somewhat normal life over the next two months," Nelson said.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 9.

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