Amy Senser hit-run verdict is upheld

The instantaneous decision that changed Amy Senser’s life just won’t stay out of the news. Today, the Star Tribune’s Abby Simons reports that the “Minnesota Appeals Court upheld Amy Senser’s felony criminal vehicular homicide convictions, unequivocally stating that despite mistakes by the trial court judge, the evidence was ‘more than sufficient’ to prove she knew she struck a car or person when she left the scene of a fatal accident nearly two years ago. … Senser’s attorney, Eric Nelson, did not indicate whether he would petition the Minnesota Supreme Court to hear the case. … She is nearly eleven months into a 41-month prison sentence at the state women’s correctional facility in Shakopee. She is scheduled for release in 2014.”

Here’s the update from the Strib’s Paul Walsh on the weekend storms: Thousands more customers are regaining their electricity as Twin Citians broke down branches, felt the impact of power lines tangled in downed trees and made their first commute Monday morning since stormy weather rolled though at weekend’s start and made return visits. Since the rain and winds debuted Friday evening, about 590,000 customers have had their electricity interrupted because of downed power lines. Crews from more than a dozen states worked all through the night and were continuing Monday trying to bring that number to zero in what the utility has called an outage unlike any it has ever experienced.” Walsh tallied up some of the traffic inconveniences, such as intersections with signal lights out, neighborhood streets “primarily in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood” impassable because of downed trees, the high-occupancy lanes of Interstate 394 heading east closed because a lack of power is keeping the gates down.

The Pioneer Press makes note of the funeral for local author Vince Flynn. The story by Mary Ann Grossmann says today’s funeral at the Cathedral of St. Paul honored Flynn “a St. Paul native, [who] wrote 14 bestselling espionage novels, all but one featuring CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp. He began his writing career by selling his first book, which was self-published, out of the trunk of his car while working as a bartender. More than 15 million of his books are in print in the United States. Flynn died Wednesday in St. Paul after battling prostate cancer for more than two years.” Flynn was 47.

This is the kind of thing that happens when you are supremely successful. The Gopher women’s hockey team is losing two key players next season to Team USA, which will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics, writes Bruce Brothers of the PiPress. “USA Hockey announced that reigning Patty Kazmaier Award winner Amanda Kessel will be playing for Team USA this season. The Gophers, who went undefeated this past season, also are losing defenseman Lee Stecklein to Team USA, which will train and play together over the winter in preparation for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. … The Gophers lost senior goaltender Noora Raty and defenseman Megan Bozek to graduation. Raty is expected to play goal for Finland in the Winter Olympics, and Bozek, from Buffalo Grove, Ill., was the third member of last year’s Gophers team named to Team USA. Former Gophers Gigi Marvin of Warroad and Anne Schleper of St. Cloud also were named to Team USA’s roster.”

The GleanAnd then there’s this: MPR picked up the Associated Press’s report about how “German prosecutors said Monday they opened a formal preliminary investigation of a Minnesota man who was a commander of a Nazi-led unit during World War II, to determine whether there is enough evidence to bring charges and seek his extradition. The Associated Press found that 94-year-old Michael Karkoc entered the U.S. in 1949 by lying to American authorities about his role in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which is accused of torching villages and killing civilians in Poland. AP’s evidence indicates that Karkoc was in the area of the massacres, although no records link him directly to atrocities. … The only charges that can be brought in such cases are murder and accessory to murder, as all other offenses fall under the statute of limitations under German law. Germany has taken the position that people involved in Nazi crimes must be prosecuted, no matter how old or infirm.

I’d take the bus if I A) had anywhere to go, and B) there was a bus that drove anywhere near where I live.  In an effort to attract more riders, Tim Harlow of the Star Tribune reports that Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority officials are offering free rides on the Red Line this week: “Getting people who normally drive to work or school out of their cars and onto public transportation systems has always been a challenge. But transit officials say that once people try riding a bus or train, they are likely to return. That’s why, through Sunday, they are offering free rides on the new Bus Rapid Transit service along 16 miles of Cedar Avenue and on MVTA local routes that connect to the Red Line. … ‘Getting people to try something is the hurdle. It’s sort of like a sampling program at the grocery store, but instead of getting a bratwurst, we give you a trial ride on Route 16 if you are going to an event that that route serves,’ Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland said.”

John Fitzgerald is filling in this week for Brian Lambert.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by tim johnson on 06/25/2013 - 01:27 pm.

    This story still bemuses: The venerable Joe Daly fingers one of the key points: how could the jury find her guilty of the crime of leaving the accident scene knowing she hit a person when they made clear in a note to judge they didn’t think she knew that?
    and there seems a general lack of curiosity among local journos over what appears to be the unusual nature of the case:has anyone done study of comparable accidents/convictions/sentences? Has anyone ever gotten this much prison time for this kind of fatal hit-and-run accident? On a dark street/road/exit with no clear evidence of alcohol/drug impairment by driver
    And was there any evidence the victim was in the roadway at the time he was hit, i.e., did he contribute to the hit by being where he shouldn’t be, perhaps even unsteady on his feet, backing way from his gas tank into the path of Senser’s vehicle? He apparently had enough cocaine in him to intoxicate him….
    And with a hospital just a half block away, was there a chance he could have been saved if she instantly had called 911 for an ambulance; did anyone report if he was killed instantly? seems that would be a pretty big deal, making whether or not she ran or didn’t a moot point for his health…

    I’m not quite a student of this story, but I haven’t seen those (seems cogent to me) issues addressed

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