Wife of former Vikings player Senser finishes work release in vehicular homicide sentence



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MINNEAPOLIS — The wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser is being allowed to return home after completing a work release assignment for her conviction in a hit-and-run accident that killed a chef.

Monday was Amy Senser's release date, Minnesota Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck said. Senser will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing as part of her supervised release, Latuseck said. Senser has also lost her driver's license for about five years and must pay a $6,400 fine.

Senser was sent to prison for the 2011 hit-and-run death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong, a chef at a now-closed restaurant, on a dark freeway ramp in Minneapolis. He had just finished work at 11 p.m. and was putting gas in his stalled car when he was struck and killed by the SUV Senser was driving. Senser told investigators she left the scene because she believed she struck a construction cone or barrel.

There were no witnesses. Phanthavong's body, which was thrown about 50 feet, was found on the ramp, along with pieces of Senser's Mercedes-Benz.

A jury in 2012 convicted Senser of two counts of criminal vehicular homicide — one for leaving the scene, and a second for failing to call for help. She was acquitted of a third count of gross negligence.

Senser, 48, completed six months of work release, meaning she was allowed to leave the facility she was only for work. She will be under supervision until her sentence expires in December 2015.

Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, said last week that she had no issues during her time on work-release, the Star Tribune reported.

A state law that went into effect in August cuts off the "ignorance" defense in hit-and-run cases.

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