Judge denies new trial, acquittal for Amy Senser

11:50 PM, May 31, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. --  Amy Senser left the courtroom on Thursday as she did every day during her trial, stoic, but defeated.

Hennepin County Judge Daniel Mabley denied Eric Nelson's, Senser's attorney, motion for an acquittal or a new trial which means in a little over a month her freedom will likely be over.

On July 9th Senser will be sentenced.

Her presumed sentence for two guilty criminal vehicular homicide convictions is 48 months.

Nelson argued Senser was convicted on flawed jury instructions.

The instructions given to the jury last month said Senser could be found guilty on counts one and two of criminal vehicular homicide if they believed she knew she caused injury or death to a person in the crash last summer or that she caused damage to another vehicle.

Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, said those instructions were wrong because Senser was charged with hitting a person, not, hitting a vehicle.

He said those instructions violated her right to due process because the jury found her guilty of hitting a vehicle.

The jury said in a note signed by its foreperson on the day of the verdict: "We believe she believed she hit a car or a vehicle not a person."

"I think the note is important because it shows the jury was reacting to the charge that was given to it by the judge but I think the charge given to the jury was incorrect," Hamline University law professor Joe Daly said.

Nelson argued that note is critical in proving the jury based its decision on flawed jury instructions but Judge Mabley disagreed today and said so in court and in his written order.

Mabley called the note "a complete non-issue" and went on to say "a note that contains a jury's reasoning or thought process cannot even be considered by the court."

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