Courtroom Sketching: Amy Senser Trial, Day 1

A couple of times a year I’m hired by local TV station KSTP-5 to do courtroom sketches for trials that are deemed “big news” to Minnesotans, or on rare occasions, even nationally.

Today was the start of a hit-and-run homicide trial with ties to a local celebrity. The defendant, Amy Senser, is the wife of Joe Senser, a former Minnesota Viking who now owns a chain of local restaurants. Amy is accused of striking a man named Anousone Phanthavong with her car while he was standing next to his stalled vehicle on an exit ramp, resulting in his death. She proceeded to drive home and insists she was unaware that she had actually struck someone. You can read all the details on numerous news sites with a quick google search.

Today was jury selection and opening arguments. I banged out these three sketches in a little over five hours. The sketches will air tonight on the local KSTP-5 news. I’ll be back in the courtroom tomorrow for more drawings.

Courtroom sketching is high pressure but also a lot of fun. For more info read my blog post, “What It’s Like To Do Courtroom Sketching”.

UPDATE: A video clip of the KSTP news story featuring my sketches can be seen here.

Amy Senser trial-courtroom sketch 1
Defendant Amy Senser, left, with her lawyer.
Amy Senser trial-courtroom sketch 2
The defense lawyer questions potential jurors (not pictured) while the judge listens.
Amy Senser Trial-courtroom sketch 3
A lawyer for the prosecution questions potential jurors. I deliberately left the jurors vague. Their identities must remain secret for the duration of the trial.