FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) – A jury found Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros guilty on both counts in the hit-and-run deaths of two Forest Grove girls in October 2013.
Garcia-Cisneros pleaded not guilty in December to two felony counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver.
The jury now received the case around noon after closing arguments in the hit-and-run case of Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros were delivered Wednesday morning.
They deliberated for less than two hours before deciding. The next phase of the trial is the sentencing, and the young woman faces 16 to 18 months in prison.
The prosecutor said the teen had an obligation to stop at the scene while the defense said she was scared and in denial.
Garcia-Cisneros, 19, stood trial for the accident that killed two Forest Grove girls who were playing in a leaf pile in front of their house in October. Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, died at the scene. Her 11-year-old sister, Abigail Robinson, died the next day.
“This case isn’t a homicide,” prosecutor Bracken McKey told the jury. “This case began as a tragic accident.”
There’s no evidence to suggest she drove over the girls on purpose, he said. But when an accident happens, “You have an obligation to remain on the scene.”
McKey said, “She’s not responsible for the accident. She’s responsible for her obligation.”
Defense attorney Ethan Levi said Garcia-Cisneros did not know she hurt anyone, and when she found out, “she was shocked, panicked, couldn’t believe it.”
Levi told the jury she didn’t “witness any of the horribleness” of the children’s deaths and she wanted to “cling to the belief” she didn’t do anything wrong.
But when she saw the news coverage the next day, she thought about calling police — but still wasn’t ready to accept it.
Even if she had stayed at the scene, he said, “she could not have provided reasonable assistance.