HILLSBORO, Ore. – Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, 19, was found guilty Wednesday in a Forest Grove hit-and-run crash that killed two sisters.
The jury unanimously found her guilty of two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver.
Afterwards, the victims' family issued the following 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."
During Wednesday's closing arguments lawyers argued to the jury about whether Garcia-Cisneros knew what she had done the evening of Oct. 20.
Stepsisters Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, and Abby Robinson, 11, were alone in the street playing in a leaf pile when Garcia-Cisneros drove through it, felt a bump and kept going.
Background: Driver knew she hit something
"It's a really sad case all the way around and I feel like the jury paid attention. They followed the law. The defendant's guilty but that obviously doesn't bring back the kids," said Washington County Deputy District Attorney Bracken McKey.
Both counts carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail. Sentencing will be up to the judge in a later phase.
Garcia-Cisneros reportedly has a hold pending from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Standard procedure is for a person to serve his or her sentence before the deportation process starts, according to a spokesperson with ICE.
"She doesn't deserve it. It could have happened to anybody and it was just not a fair case," said Garcia-Cisneros' friend Nia Garniza. "Really, it could have happened to any of you."
Garcia-Cisneros testified Tuesday that she heard about the deaths later, panicked and was in disbelief. She only confessed when police showed up at her door the next day.
"I couldn't react to it. I spent all night telling myself that it wasn't true. And then to find out it was true," she said in court Tuesday.
The victims' families were visibly shaken throughout the testimony.