Nurse Accused Of Killing Anti-Gang Activist Evelyn Rodriguez Faces Judge

Sophia Hall
February 27, 2020 - 4:32 pm
AnnMarie Drago

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880


CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A Long Island nurse accused of killing Evelyn Rodriguez, a mother who became an anti-gang activist after her teenage daughter was allegedly murdered by MS-13 members, faced a judge on Thursday.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports, the prosecution and defense are not arguing about whether or not AnnMarie Drago struck and killed Rodriguez with her SUV on Sept. 14, 2018.

However, the prosecution says Drago purposely ran Rodriguez over when she confronted the nurse about destroying a large memorial of flowers, photos and balloons honoring Rodriguez’s slain daughter, Kayla Cuevas.

Drago’s attorney argues that there was no intent to harm and the nurse was fleeing the confrontation when her post-traumatic stress disorder was triggered. Her attorney says she was diagnosed with the disorder after being attacked by a patient.

“She had one goal: to get away from these people and their threats, and she felt it was safe to do so,” attorney Stephen Kunken said.

Kunken says Drago was not destroying the memorial, as the prosecution alleges, but rather she was taking certain items down to keep it up to town code.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini previous said she destroyed the memorial so that it would not deter potential buyers from purchasing her mother’s nearby home.