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Supporters demand justice for the death of anti-gang activist Evelyn Rodriguez

Robert Mickens (from top left), Elizabeth Alvarado, Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, parents of two Long Island teenagers who were believed to have been killed by MS-13 gang members, during Trump's speech.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais
/
AP
Robert Mickens (from top left), Elizabeth Alvarado, Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, parents of two Long Island teenagers who were believed to have been killed by MS-13 gang members, during Trump's speech.

The family of anti-gang activist Evelyn Rodriguez said they want the woman involved in her death to be prosecuted again.

Ann Marie Drago’s conviction of criminally negligent homicide was overturned by an appeals court last week.

In 2018, Drago ran over Rodriguez with her car during a dispute about a memorial outside her home. The memorial was for Rodriguez’s daughter, Kayla Cuevas, whose remains were found in a nearby wooded area two years earlier. She was killed by MS-13 gang members.

“Please Ray Tierney, I need justice for my mother, please just give me that,” said Kelsey Cuevas, Rodriguez’s daughter, during a rally outside Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney’s office.

She said she was robbed of the experiences Drago’s children still get. “Her kids get to hold her. They get to see her on holidays when I have to visit mine at a gravesite,” Cuevas said.

The court cited prosecutorial misconduct as reasoning to overturn the conviction, including claims that ex-Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Marc Lindemann made improper comments to the jury, mishandled evidence, and “evoked sympathy” for Rodriguez.

Tierney said in a statement last week that the trial took place before he took office as District Attorney.

"That prosecutor, as well as those supervisors from the prior administration who oversaw the trial and reviewed those remarks prior to the summation, were not retained by me and are no longer with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office," he said.

Molly Ingram is working to obtain a masters degree in journalism and media production. She has a bachelor's degree in political science from Central Connecticut State University.