A Long Island woman who ran over and killed an anti-gang activist — the mother of an MS-13 murder victim — was sentenced to 9 months behind bars Thursday.
Ann Marie Drago, 60, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide last year in the 2018 death of Evelyn Rodriguez, a leading voice on gang violence after her teenaged daughter was allegedly slain by the notorious street gang, Newsday reported.
“I will take my punishment,” Drago told Rodriguez’s family in Suffolk County court Thursday, ABC-TV reported. “I hope it will help you in your healing process.”
“There is not a day that I don’t think of you girls and your loss as a result of my actions.”
The deadly Sept. 14, 2018 encounter was sparked over a memorial to Rodriguez’s daughter outside Drago’s mother’s home in Brentwood — and hours before a vigil was planned for the second anniversary of the death of Kayla Cuevas, the slain teen.
“I just ran over somebody,” Drago said in a frantic 911 call after the incident. “She’s in the street. She’s not moving. I think I ran over her head. There’s blood. She’s not moving.”
The incident was captured on video by News12 Long Island.
Drago’s family had claimed that they had been unable to sell her mother’s home because mourners continued to show up to pay their respects to Cuevas.
Drago claimed she felt threatened when Rodriguez and her parter, Freddy Cuevas, ran up to her Nissan Rogue pointing at her and shouting expletives after she dismantled the memorial for Cuevas.
But, defense lawyers said, she did not realize she had run over Rodriguez.
Cuevas, 16, and another teenager, Nisa Mickens, 15, were allegedly beaten with bats and hacked to death with machetes. Members of MS-13 are awaiting trial in the case.
Prosecutors had asked Acting State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho to hand down a sentence of 1 to 3 years for Drago, while defense attorneys had asked for probation, Newsday reported.
“Evelyn’s death was needless,” Camacho said in court Thursday. “Ann Marie is responsible, and there needs to be consequences.”