Former Minnesota Viking Joe Senser's wife found guilty

MINNEAPOLIS -- The wife of former Minnesota Viking Joe Senser has been convicted of two felonies in a hit-and-run that killed a man.

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Amy Senser, 45, of Edina, Minn., was charged with three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Anousone Phanthavong, and found guilty of two: leaving the scene of an accident and failure to promptly report an accident. She was acquitted on a third felony charge of gross negligence. Each count is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines suggested four years.

Phanthavong, 38, was a chef at a Thai restaurant near the site of the accident. His car had run out of gas and he had pulled to the side of the highway exit ramp. He was filling the car's tank when he was hit. Parts of a Mercedes were found at the scene

Senser's lead attorney, Eric Nelson, vowed an appeal. He said his client was in shock.

"She has insisted that she didn't see him. She wants the world to believe that's the truth." Senser, he said, "is not the type of person who would knowingly leave a man on the road to die."

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said, "I think if you're driving a car and you have an accident, the state Legislature and all the rest of us believe you have a duty to stop. That clearly is something that Mrs. Senser did not do." He also said a motorist has a duty to report that accident.

Phanthavong's family members have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sensers, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Joe Senser played four years with the Vikings before a knee injury ended his career. He co-owns Joe Senser's Restaurant and Sports Theater, a Minneapolis-St. Paul-area restaurant chain.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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