MINNEAPOLIS - One of the jurors in the Amy Senser criminal vehicular homicide trial offered insights about the almost 20 hours of deliberations Friday. The seven-man, five-woman jury handed down guilty verdicts Thursday on three of four charges against the wife of ex-Viking Joe Senser.
"We did decide this as a group. There were no holdouts," said Jameson Larson near his south Minneapolis home. "We spent most of the time, we focused on Amy's testimony."
Larson said Senser's credibility wavered when she began telling the jury about details of August 23 before she struck Anousone Phanthavone on the Riverside Avenue exit ramp from Interstate 94 and killed him. Larson said Senser's account of her crisp memories of the day contrasted with her claim of a lack of memory during and after the accident.
"What a minute! How is that up until that, you remember everything? It is clear as day and then all of a sudden it falls apart?" Larson told KARE 11's Allen Costantini. "Allen, I just do not think that any of us around the table, we were just shaking our heads going, does anybody...does a reasonable person do that?"
Larson explained how the jurors helped each other come to a consensus. For instance, was it possible for Senser not to understand the severity of the collision?
"As a reasonable person, would you hear that? And that is where our autobody worker (fellow juror Anthony Sather) Anthony, it was helpful to have his expertise. He was saying there is no way, no way a reasonable person, that you would, as an experienced person , hear that noise and not want to pull off and say, boy, have I done something to my car?" recalled Larson.
A "breakthrough" for jurors, according to Larson, was the admission by jury foreperson Shana Ford, that she had once struck a traffic cone with her car. "And Shana said 'when I hit that traffic cone' and when she hit it, she knew she had hit something. The first thing she did was pull off to the side because she wanted to make sure her car was okay because she wanted to make sure it was safe to drive that car home," said Larson.
Larson commented that the jury room was stifling. He learned that the HVAC system in the Hennepin County Government Center turns off automatically at 4:30 p.m. For two days, the jury deliberated until 7 p.m. "It would get pretty stifling in there," said Larson. The jurors were sequestered during the three days of deliberations.
Like juror Anthony Sather on Thursday evening, Larson spoke of the careful study of the evidence by all members of the panel. "We sit there and remind ourselves, you know, we have a job to do here. We have a responsibility to the State of Minnesota and a responsibility to Miss Senser to really look at this thing through."
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