HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) – A woman found guilty in a hit-and-run that killed two Forest Grove stepsisters will serve no jail time.
On Friday, a Washington County judge sentenced 19-year-old Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros to no further jail time. She received six years of formal probation and 250 hours of community service. Cisneros will have to go through a legal immigration process first because she is in the U.S. illegally. She will be released from the Washington County Jail within the next 48 hours.
Cisneros could have been sentenced to up to 18 months in prison after a jury found her guilty Jan. 15 of two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver. She received three years of probation for each count, which will run concurrently.
Addressing her in court, the girls’ mother, Susan Dieter-Robinson, acknowledged the crash as “an accident.” She said she forgives Cisneros and did not want her to spend any more time in jail.
“I too have a choice to make,” Robinson said through tears. “I can live the rest of my life full of anger and resentment towards you. Or, I can choose to forgive you.”
“I forgive you, I do. There are consequences to our behaviors. That’s what we taught our girls.”
Cisneros, who was notably emotional throughout the hearing, offered an apology to the victims’ family.
“There are no words that I can give you guys to let you know how bad I feel,” a sobbing Cisneros said.
“I can’t imagine your pain or what you guys are going through. I’m truly sorry that I cost you guys all of this… You said you forgive me, I really hope that you do.”
“Thank you for saying you’re sorry,” Robinson replied.
On Oct. 20, Cisneros drove an SUV through a pile of leaves in the street that 11-year-old Abigail Robinson and 6-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt were playing under, directly in front of their Forest Grove home. Eckerdt died at the scene and her sister passed away the following day.
Also in the SUV were Cisneros’ boyfriend, 18-year-old Mario Echeverria, and her younger brother Mario Garcia. Echeverria and Cisneros were arrested two days after the crash.
They told investigators they heard a bump but did not realize they had struck anyone until later that night. However, they did not immediately turn themselves in to police when they discovered what had happened.
“I tell myself this every day,” Cisneros said Friday. “I should have gone back. I should have thought about you guys and I didn’t.”
Echeverria eventually admitted to investigators that he took the SUV to a car wash the day after the crash. He plead guilty in December to a count of hindering prosecuting and was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
– Faris Tanyos and Brent Weisberg contributed to this report.