MINNEAPOLIS - The seven-man, five-woman jury in the Amy Senser criminal vehicular homicide case finally got to return to their homes Thursday evening. They had found the 45-year old wife of ex-Viking Joe Senser guilty of 3 of the 4 counts she faced in Hennepin County Court.
During the 20 hours of deliberations, Judge Daniel Mabley sequestered the jury while they decided Senser's fate. She had struck Anousone Phanthavong, 38, while he was putting gas into his car on the Riverside Avenue exit ramp off I-94 in Minneapolis.
"Well, everybody had different opinions and different thoughts about what was in the evidence," said juror Anthony Sather, 20, of Minneapolis. Sather, a Kennedy High School and Hennepin Technical school graduate, who works for a Twin Cities auto body shop commented that "the damage on the car was pretty straight forward that something severe happened."
The question in the minds of most observers, which the jury had to decide, was: did Amy Senser know that the impact she felt on that dark night was hitting a person? Senser told the jury that she did not know. Sather was not sure.
"I could not tell you. It was borderline. The evidence from the defense and prosecutor, it was, you could have gone either way, but we decided that she knew she had hit something and there was no notification (of authorities)," said Sather.
There was only one person of color on the panel. She was the foreperson, a corporate professional who teaches seminars. Her organization skills drew praise from Sather. In terms of employment and chronological age, there was diversity.
Two of the jurors, like Sather was in their early 20's. The other young man is employed as a welder. One of the men has lived overseas and works at an alternative high school. Another is a personal finance planner for family and friends. One of the women is a public health coordinator and a registered nurse. Another likes to travel the world and has a very young child. Several of the jurors had children.
One of the male jurors contacted by KARE11 explained that he was emotionally and physically drained by the experience and needed time to rest and absorb the events of the past two weeks.
Sather told KARE11 he is not sure that he would want to serve on another jury of so prominent a case. However, he said it was "interesting" and he "definitely learned a lot." He explained that the twelve men and women tried to be very thorough in their examination of the evidence.
"It is a pretty serious matter," said Sather.
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