Jury finds teen guilty in fatal hit-and-run of Forest Grove girls
HILLSBORO, Ore. - A teenager was found guilty Wednesday for failing to render aid after running over and killing two Forest Grove girls last fall.
Cinthya Garcia-Cineros, 19, was on trial for the fatal hit-and-run that took the lives of 6-year-old Anna Deiter-Eckerdt and her 11-year-old sister Abigail Robinson. The two girls were playing in a pile of leaves last October when they were hit by the car Garcia-Cineros was driving.
Garcia-Cineros faced two felony charges of failing to perform the duties of a driver. She was found guilty on both counts.
Garcia-Cisneros' boyfriend, Mario Echeverria, was the passenger of the SUV. He had already pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence because he didn't report it and he had the car washed after the crash.
Before the verdict, prosecutor Bracken McKey said there was no evidence Garcia-Cineros intentionally ran over the girls "but don't confuse the accident portion with the driver's obligation once the accident happens."
Garcia-Cineros' defense attorney, Ethan Levi, said his client was in shock and "asking her to go back to the scene is unreasonable. And under this law it's not required. So please find Cinthya Garcia-Cineros not guilty of the two counts of hit-and-run."
Garcia-Cineros testified in her own defense Tuesday where she said she did not realize she hit the girls that night.
"I heard a bump," she said. "I steered to the left to avoid my back tire from hitting the same bump."
When she later found out two girls had died, Garcia-Cisneros recounted the memory, crying from the stand. "I spent all night telling myself it wasn't true," she said.
During cross-examination, Garcia-Cisneros admitted she did not tell the police the truth about what happened.
"Not about the bump," she said.
Levi said Garcia-Cineros is upset and "not doing very well." He said she'll appeal the case.
She is due back in court a week from Friday for sentencing. She could get as little as probation or as much as 18 months in prison per count, which would be a total of three years.
Girls' parents react to verdict
Two of the victims' parents, Susan Dieter Robinson and Tom Robinson, released a statement following the verdict Wednesday night:
"This verdict may bring some sense of closure to those looking in from the outside, but ultimately it does not bring our girls back. No one won today. We did our best to teach our girls to be honest and learn from their mistakes. We have the same hope for Cinthya. We will continue to pray for Cinthya and her family," the statement said.