Patchogue Woman Pleads Guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide for 2018 Crash from Argument Over Roadside Memorial

On May 31, 2024, Annmarie Drago, 63, of Patchogue, pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide and is expected to receive five years of probation. The District Attorney’s Office recommended Drago serve one to three years in prison Drago is due back in court for sentencing on August 1, 2024

PATCHOGUE, NY – Annmarie Drago, 63, has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for the 2018 death of Evelyn Rodriguez. The incident occurred on September 14, 2018, when Drago struck Rodriguez with her vehicle and ran her over during a confrontation about the removal of a memorial for Rodriguez’s murdered daughter, Kayla Cuevas.

Rodriguez, 50, was at the site of the memorial in Brentwood when Drago dismantled it. In the ensuing confrontation, Drago accelerated her vehicle, knocking Rodriguez to the ground and causing fatal injuries. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at Southside Hospital.

Evelyn Rodriguez was still mourning the loss of her daughter when this defendant dismantled her daughter’s memorial, and then struck the victim with her vehicle, ultimately causing her death. We hope this plea brings some sense of peace and closure to Ms. Rodriguez’s family, a family that has suffered multiple tragic losses, said District Attorney Tierney. “My office is committed to continue Ms. Rodriguez’s fight to combat the scourge of gang violence, and to make our streets safer for all residents of Suffolk County.”

Drago’s guilty plea follows a complicated legal battle. Initially convicted in 2020 and sentenced to nine months in jail, her conviction was overturned in 2022, leading to a retrial. On May 31, 2024, Drago accepted a plea deal and is expected to receive five years of probation.

District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney expressed hope that the plea brings some closure to Rodriguez’s family, which has suffered multiple tragedies. Drago’s sentencing is scheduled for August 1, 2024.

For more details, visit the Suffolk County District Attorney’s press release.

Important: This story is categorized as a crime story and thus it is important to note that charges are accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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