Date Set for New Hearing on Senser Release Motion
A Hennepin District Court judge has set the date for a new hearing on Amy Senser's motion for release from prison pending her appeal of a hit-and-run conviction.
Judge Daniel Mabley had denied Senser's motion, which was made at the time of her May sentencing. But a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals found last week that since Mabley "summarily" denied the motion without stating on the record the reasons for his action as required by state court rules, the motion must be remanded to Mabley's court.
The appellate court noted that, "(a)lthough the burden is on appellant, to establish she is entitled to relief, rule 28.02, subdivision 7(3), requires that the court state its reasoning, and we conclude that a remand is appropriate."
A hearing is now set for Sept. 24 at the Hennepin County Government Center.
Hamline University School of Law Dean Don Lewis says that while Mabley made "a procedural mistake," Lewis thinks Senser does not have much of a chance of release pending appeal.
"The rule states a presumption that the defendant will not be released pending appeal," Lewis said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Monday.
"Judge Mabley has already ruled that she should be incarcerated immediately upon the verdict, so I don't expect him to reverse his decision."
Defense attorney Ryan Pacyga, who has followed the case closely but is not involved, predicts Senser may have a chance.
"It would be rare, but I think this whole case has been nothing but rare," Pacyga said Monday.
Senser, 46, was convicted in May of two counts of criminal vehicular homicide after she hit and killed Minneapolis chef Anousone Phanthavong with her SUV on a darkened Interstate 94 off-ramp in August 2011.
Senser is currently in state prison serving a 41-month sentence and has maintained that she did not know she hit Phanthavong that night.
She is appealing her conviction.
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