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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brittani Senser turn herself in after she killed woman in hit-and-run'

The daughter of former Minnesota Vikings tight end Joe Senser took the stand Tuesday in the fatal hit-and-run trial of her stepmother, telling the jury that she convinced Amy Senser to turn herself in.

Fighting to regain her composure, 28-year-old Brittani Senser told the jury that she became suspicious when she received a cryptic text message from her father on August 25, 2011, according to the Star Tribune.

It was not until later that day that Brittani Senser got the news about the accident. At the time, the 28-year-old assumed that her stepmother came forward right away, and she became 'furious' to discover that Amy Senser had not turned herself in nearly a week after the accident.

Prosecutors say on the night of August 23, 2011, Amy Senser was behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz SUV that struck and killed 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong as he was filling his stalled car with gas on an Interstate 94 exit ramp in Minneapolis.

Brittani Senser told prosecutor Deborah Russell on Tuesday that when the press started speculating whether she was the one who drove the vehicle, she sent a text message to her stepmother urging her to come clean.

Amy Senser's attorney, Eric Nelson, directed the State Patrol to the Mercedes the day after the crash, but the identity of the driver was not revealed at that time.

On Sept. 1, Brittani Senser called her stepmother's attorney and threatened to notify the authorities if they fail to do so themselves.

Later that day, Nelson faxed a brief notarized admission by Amy Senser that she was behind the wheel of the SUV. Amy Senser said that she did not realize she hit someone.

Amy Senser now faces three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide. The jury may also consider a lesser charge of careless driving.

Joe Senser was not present during his daughter's testimony because he is expected to be called to the stand later in the trial.

Under cross-examination, Nelson questioned Brittani Senser about her parents' efforts to help her in her pursuit to become a singer.

The 28-year-old said that at the time, she was interested in a career in reality TV, which prompted Nelson to suggest that she pushed her stepmother to come forward about the accident in order to get publicity.

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