Prosecution, defense make arguments in Senser appeal

6:03 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Court of Appeals took up the Amy Senser case on Wednesday and it now has 90 days to render a decision.

The court can do one of three things; overturn Senser's convictions, grant her a new trial or stay her convictions.

Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, is arguing Senser either deserves to have her guilty verdicts overturned or be granted a new trial based on errors in jury instructions and abuses of discretion by the district court judge during her trial last year.

Nelson and the attorney representing the state, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Lee Barry were grilled for about 40 minutes by the three-judge panel on those issues and specifically, a note the jury's foreperson gave to the judge before the verdicts were read that was not disclosed to Senser or her attorney in court. That note was something all of the appellate judges had questions about.

"The note from the juror at least on the face of things seems to call into question the finding of knowledge especially since it came from the foreman before the verdict," Judge Kevin Ross said as he was questioning Barry about it.

That note could be a big factor in the appellate judge's decision on if Senser wasn't given a fair shake because it said they jury believed Senser believed she hit a vehicle and not a person.

The court has 90 days to make its decision.

Senser has served nine months of her three-and-a-half year prison term.

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