Trial To Begin For Nurse Accused Of Killing Anti-Gang Activist Evelyn Rodriguez

Sophia Hall
February 25, 2020 - 1:57 pm
Evelyn Rodriguez

Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A trial is set to begin this week for the Long Island nurse charged in the death of Evelyn Rodriguez, who gained notoriety as an anti-gang activist after her teenage daughter was allegedly murdered by MS-13 members.

Prosecutors say the Sept. 14 incident was captured on video, showing AnnMarie Drago running Rodriguez over with her vehicle in Brentwood.

According to the prosecution, the incident began when Drago was discovered destroying a large memorial of flowers, photos and balloons left in front of a Ray Court home to honor Rodriguez’s slain daughter, Kayla Cuevas.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini says Drago threw many of the memorial items in the trash and was taking the larger items away from the site in her SUV – but when Rodriguez confronted her about the destruction, Drago hit the gas pedal.

“The front wheel and the rear tire both ran Evelyn over,” Sini explained at a Central Islip courthouse last November.

Drago’s attorney, Stephen Kunken, says there was no intent to harm when the registered nurse drove away. He notes she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after she was attacked by a patient and was frightened when Rodriguez and her partner confronted her.

DA Sini said Drago had destroyed the memorial as she was trying to sell her mother’s home nearby and didn’t want the vigil to affect the sale.