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Guilty verdict for woman who stole from slain LI teen's memorial, fatally ran over the teen's mother

Posted: 2:08 PM, Mar 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-11 15:00:58-04
Annmarie Drago, pictured on the left, and Evelyn Rodriguez, pictured on the right.

CENTRAL ISLIP, NY — Less than a month after her trial began, a woman who stole from a memorial for a slain teen and ran over the teen's mother was found guilty on all counts.

Annmarie Drago was charged with criminally negligent homicide, petit larceny and criminal mischief in the death of Evelyn Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 50 had a memorial set up for daughter Kayla Cuevas, 16, on Sept. 14, 2018. She was killed two years to the day after Cuevas' body was found. The teen and her friend, 15-year-old Nisa Mickens, were ambushed by alleged MS-13 gang members in 2016.

Rodriguez fought against gangs in the years after her daughter's death. She worked with Distirct Attorney Timothy Sini.

“Evelyn spent much of her time and energy fighting for justice for others, and today we were able to obtain justice for Evelyn," Sini said. "The prosecution team that handled this case did an outstanding job of presenting the evidence and the jury came to the appropriate result.”

The memorial Rodriguez had set up for her daughter included a table decorated with votive candles, vases of flowers, balloons and a large photograph of Kayla. She'd placed a large floral arrangement on a wire stand next to the table.

Drago, who was on the street visiting her mother, threw the candles, tablecloth, bouquets and vases in the trash. She also slashed the balloons. Drago took the rest of the items and put them in her car.

She took items from the memorial because she was worried it would prevent the sale of her mother's home, according to the criminal complaint. When Rodriguez confronted the other woman, Drago abruptly accelerated and ran over Rodriguez.

Drago faces up to four years in prison during her sentencing. She's due back in court on April 10.

During her arraignment, Drago's attorney said what happened was an accident.