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Woman guilty in Forest Grove hit and run

A jury found Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros guilty Jan. 15 on two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver — a Class B felony — in the accident that killed Abigail Robinson, 11, and Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, of Forest Grove.

The sisters died after a car driven by Garcia hit them while they were hiding in a pile of leaves near their Main Street home Oct. 20, 2013.

Following the verdict, their parents — Tom Robinson and Susan Dieter-Robinson — released a statement: “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.”

In closing arguments Wednesday morning, Senior Deputy District Attorney Bracken McKey made clear this was not a case of manslaughter or homicide.

“There is no evidence in this case that would have led one to believe she intentionally ran over two children in the leaves,” he said.

But McKey returned to the moment Mario Garcia told his sister Cinthya she had run over children in the leaf pile.

“At that point, she had an obligation to return to the scene,” he said. “It is not only morally the right thing to do, but is also required by law.”

Three hours

Jury members re-entered the courtroom after less than three hours of deliberation and looked directly at the judge. Susan Dieter-Robinson sat in the front row with her husband, nervously handling tissues. At the opposite end of the bench, the father of Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, Randall Eckerdt, sat somberly with Jane Samuels, his fiancée.

Cinthya Garcia rose as Washington County Circuit Court Judge Rick Knapp read the guilty verdicts.

As the attorneys argued about the date of sentencing, Garcia sobbed. Her brother, Mario, sat quietly, showing no emotion, and continued to sit motionless as the rest of the courtroom cleared. During the trial, he had said it was his idea to go to Sonic for food and his idea to drive through the large pile of leaves on the way back.

“It’s a really sad case,” said McKey after the trial.

According to McKey, punishment could range from probation to 18 months for each count. In addition, Garcia faces an immigration hold and almost certain deportation, according to her immigration attorney.

Garcia was brought to the U.S. when she was 4 years old and is living in the U.S. legally because of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival program.

Sentencing will be Friday, Jan. 31, at 2:30 p.m. in the Washington County Circuit Court in Hillsboro.



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