HILLSBORO, Ore. – A judge on Tuesday ruled that the controversial confession of a woman accused of fleeing the scene after she hit and killed two Forest Grove children with an SUV, can be used in court.
On Tuesday, a defense attorney for Cinthya Garcia Cisneros, 18, said police had not properly read his client her Miranda rights before questioning her. He also said police deceived Cisneros into believing they had cell phone records placing her at the scene of the accident when they did not.
He asked the judge to throw out Cisneros' confession to police, before a jury trial could begin.
An audio tape of the confession was also played in court. At one point, Cisneros talked about the moment she learned that she may have struck a child.
"My brother came in, panicking, and I asked what was going on and he just told me to sit down. I said, 'What?' And he said, 'I think you drove over a child.' I was like, 'What?' And he was like, 'That noise that happened earlier, I think it was a kid.' I was like, 'How could it be a kid, it was a pile of leaves?' And then he said, 'No, I think it was a kid because there’s a guy over there yelling or something about his child.'”
The judge later ruled that the confession could stand as evidence in the trial.
Cisneros was arrested Oct. 22 with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Mario Echeverria, for hitting and killing Abigail Robinson, 11, and her 6-year-old stepsister, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt. The two girls had been playing in a leaf pile near their house three days earlier when they were struck by Cisneros.
Cisneros' attorney called several police to the stand Tuesday. He asked them if they had notified Cisneros of her rights before they started questioning her.
Afterwards, the judge determined that Cisneros was "not under compelling circumstances" that would have invalidated her confession.
Cisneros confessed during police questioning
According to court documents obtained by KGW, Cisneros acknowledged during the police questioning that she drove into a pile of leaves for fun and then heard a 'bump,' but continued to drive on. She said she did not know at the time that the girls were in the leaves.
Background: Driver knew she hit something
Neither side disputes that the accident occurred, only that Cisneros may or may not have known she hit someone and failed to stop.
Cisneros was charged with failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons. She cried throughout Tuesday's court proceedings.
Echeverria was sentenced to 13 months in prison in December for taking the SUV Cisneros was driving to a car wash to destroy evidence of the collision.