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The boyfriend of the driver who allegedly struck and killed two young sisters playing in a Forest Grove leaf pile in October pleaded guilty to a class C felony last week and will face prison time.

Mario Echeverria, 18, pleaded guilty to one charge of “hindering prosecution” Thursday, Dec. 19, in Washington County Circuit Judge Kristin Thompson’s courtroom. According to the negotiated plea, he will serve 13 months in prison with two years of post-prison supervision.

A second charge of tampering with physical evidence — a class A misdemeanor — was dismissed.

A restitution hearing is set for March 17. Restitution is an arrangement where a person convicted of a crime reimburses the victim in some way for the losses related to the crime.

Echeverria’s case had been scheduled to go to trial Jan. 7, the same day as the trial for his girlfriend, Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros. At the time of the accident, Garcia (she does not use Cisneros) was driving an SUV owned by Echeverria’s mother. The couple, along with Garcia’s brother, was returning to Garcia’s house on the evening of Oct. 20. In the 1700 block of Main Street, they both say, Garcia drove through a pile of leaves and felt a bump but continued to her home a few blocks away before checking the car for damage.

Her brother returned to the scene a short while later and came back to report that Garcia had driven over a child. When visited and questioned by Forest Grove police officers the next day, both Garcia and Echeverria initially denied the incident before acknowledging their roles in the accident.

According to Forest Grove Police Det. Matt Smith, Echeverria said he took the SUV to a car wash after the accident in order to remove any physical evidence that might tie the accident to Garcia.

According to Smith, a small fiber of green material matching the green sweatshirt worn by Abigail Robinson, one of the sisters, remained on the car.

Contract Publishing

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