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Letter to judge from Tersia Theel

Your Honor,

I’ve been quiet and distant since just after Abigail’s service. I’ve avoided the holidays, tried to ignore her 12th birthday and did not read the news or any information written during the trial.

I’m very broken, shattered and sad every day. Its difficult to even think about her at all. I see the damage this has caused and will continue to cause her brother Brennan and sister Taylor and the rest of my family.

We are completely torn apart. I now feel the loss of not only Abigail, but my first daughter in an auto accident almost 20 years ago to the day, Oct. 22, 1993.

It’s really hard to believe this is happening. Abigail brought so much life, love and laughter to everyone. We’re all better people in some way for having known her and yet forever cheated for having to say goodbye so soon.

She even made it really difficult to be mad at her. All she had to do was look back at me as she walked away, then look down toward the ground with her fluttery eye lashes and stick her bottom lip out. She never could hold her fake pout for more than a few seconds and we always cracked up laughing.

I haven’t even begun to start believing I won’t hear or see that again, or get to feel her snuggle with me and wrap her long legs around my short ones.

With all of this in mind, I hope, pray and ask for Cinthya to be given a sentence of time served and probation. Abigail and Anna are both gone. Nothing anyone says or does can bring them back. No amount of jail time will let me have even one more minute just to hug Abigail and tell her how much I love her or how proud I was of everything she did. Or to truly apologize for all the great things she was doing that I missed out on.

Cinthya could not have changed the outcome had she stayed instead of trying to hide what occurred. Nor should she carry the full weight of this. As parents, part of the heartbreak is our responsibility to carry. Cinthya is the same age as Abigails’s oldest sister, Taylor.

She went to the same school as Taylor. This easily could have been my oldest teenager or any one of my friends’ teenagers driving that vehicle. I’ve driven through leaf piles in Forest Grove many times in the past myself. What would any of us have done?

I truly hope the first choice would be the right choice, to stop and stay there. No matter who we are, our age, education, background or beliefs, not one of us can absolutely say how we would react ... because we were not there that night in October.

She’s a good person with a good future still ahead of her. I believe in my heart Abigail would feel the same as I do and want the same sentence. Abigail was loving, caring and very forgiving. Especially with this being an accident.

Please also think about how devastated Cinthya must feel. This accident will be a part of her for the rest of her life. I would never wish that burden on anyone. Any sentence that keeps her in jail only serves to prolong the start of any healing.

Most certainly my healing, my other two children’s and I’m sure Cinthya’s. There [are] no winners in this situation. We’ve all lost something and have been changed in some way.

Thank you for considering my sentencing request.

Tersia Theel

Washington state




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