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Senser defense files appeal

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Appealing a verdict is standard, and much of what is in the Amy Senser appeal filed on Friday is normal, but defense attorney Joe Tamburino -- who is not connected to the Senser case -- said three things do stand out.

"No. 1 is the jury instructions; No. 2 is the note from the jury; No. 3 is the request to have a Schwarz hearing, which is a hearing after a verdict -- where a jury gets questioned," he said.

Tamburino said the key issue in the appeal is the handwritten note the jury gave the judge just before the verdict was read.

"This seemed to have been a note requesting the court to announce the verdict in a certain fashion," he said.

Yet, Tamburino added that it's not up to a jury to decide how the verdict will be read. That decision ultimately resides with the judge.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson argues the judge should have told them about the note right away, instead of days after.

But is that enough for a new trial?

"Is that verdict directly attributable to the judge's error? That's going to be the issue," Tamburino said. "I don't think that's the case here only because they already came to a verdict before they gave the judge the note."

The appeal also says the jurors seemed confused based on post-trial interviews, and argues their instructions were poor.

As for the Schwarz request, Tamburino told FOX 9 News that those are rarely granted.

Senser is to be sentenced July 9.

 

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