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Loophole closed in Sense defense

Loophole closed in Sense defense Click to Enlarge Photo:

Apr 30, 2014 at 5:45 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers have closed a loophole used by Amy Senser as a defense in a fatal hit-and-run.

The bill cuts off the so-called "ignorance" defense commonly used in hit-and-run cases.

Senser was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide in the 2011 death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong on a darkened freeway ramp in Minneapolis. The wife of former Minnesota Vikings player Joe Senser maintained that she left the scene because she believed she struck a construction cone or barrel.

The bill eliminates a loophole that allows "not knowing what was struck" as a legal defense for drivers accused of hit-and-run.

The bill passed the Minnesota House 124-3 Tuesday. A Senate version passed 44-16 last week. It now awaits Gov. Mark Dayton's signature.

Mike Tanner

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