CENTRAL ISLIP, NY — A woman who stole from a memorial for a slain teen and fatally ran over the teen’s mother was sentenced to nine months in jail, Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced Thursday.
Annmarie Drago, 60, was convicted on charges of criminally negligent homicide, petit larceny and criminal mischief in the 2018 death of anti-gang activist Evelyn Rodriguez, 50.
Rodriguez, 50 had a memorial set up for her teenage daughter Kayla Cuevas on Sept. 14, 2018. The Long Island mom was killed two years to the day after her daughter’s body was found. The teen and her friend, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens, were ambushed by alleged MS-13 gang members in 2016.
Drago, who was on the street of the memorial visiting her mother in 2018, threw candles and flowers from it in the trash. She also slashed balloons.
Drago took the rest of the items honoring Cuevas’ memory and put them in her car because she was worried the memorial would prevent the sale of her mother’s home, according to the criminal complaint.
Drago abruptly accelerated her 2016 Nissan Rogue and ran over Rodriguez after the upset mother confronted her.
“The defendant’s actions that day were unconscionable, first destroying a memorial for a 16-year-old girl then attempting to flee when confronted by a grieving mother,” District Attorney Sini said. “Today’s sentence is a just outcome that holds her accountable for her actions.”
In the two years after her daughter’s death, Rodriguez worked with Sini to fight gang violence.
“Evelyn Rodriguez was a fighter for justice – for her daughter and for all victims of gang violence – until the day she died,” Sini said. “Her death, like her daughter’s, was an unthinkable tragedy.”