Woman convicted in death of anti-MS-13 activist on LI gets 9 months

Annmarie Drago, who ran over and killed anti-gang activist Evelyn Rodriguez, whose daughter Kayla Cuevas was murdered by MS-13, was sentenced to nine months in prison Thursday.

Video Transcript

- New at noon, it was sentencing day for Annmarie Drago. She's the woman convicted of running over an anti-gang activist on Long Island in 2018. Long Island reporter Kristin Thorne live in Central Islip with more. Kristin?

KRISTIN THORNE: Dave, Annmarie Drago was sentenced to nine months in prison. Prosecutors were seeking a one to three year prison term. The judge said that Evelyn Rodriguez's death was needless, and there had to be consequences for it. Drago spoke directly to Rodriguez's daughter, who was in the courtroom, looked right at her and told her not a day goes by that she does not think about her, and she hopes that her punishment helps her in the healing process.

Drago, who is a registered nurse, arrived at court in Central Islip this morning, flanked by her two grown sons. She did not leave with them, as she was sentenced to this nine-month prison term. Drago was convicted of criminally negligent homicide for running over Rodriguez in 2018. Rodriguez was standing at a Memorial in Brentwood for her daughter, who was killed by MS-13 gang members.

Rodriguez and Drago got into an argument. And Drago's attorney says Drago had a, quote, "instinctive reaction" and ran over Rodriguez. Drago says she never meant to hurt anyone. Rodriguez's daughter told Drago in court today that Drago is a, quote, "monster and a murderer." Kelsey Cuevas though says she accepts Drago's prison sentence.

KELSEY CUEVAS: I'm just happy that there was just justice. That's all. There was just justice.

STEPHEN KUNKEN: I think the sentence of the court we're very disappointed in. I think those people in the courtroom heard my client very eloquent acceptance of responsibility and remorse for what happened.

KRISTIN THORNE: Drago's attorney says he will appeal this decision. In the meantime, because of COVID restrictions at the prison, Drago will spend the first 15 days of her sentence in 23-hour isolation in her cell. Kelsey Cuevas told her, "May be cold and lonely cell be your only comfort."