Video of fatal confrontation between Evelyn Rodriguez and SUV driver shown in court
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A video showing the moments leading up to the death of Evelyn Rodriguez was played for a Long Island jury on Friday afternoon. The entire video was entered as evidence in the trial of AnnMarie Drago.
Prosecutors said Drago, 59, knew exactly what she was doing as she hit the gas on her SUV and killed Rodriguez in September 2018.
Rodriguez died exactly two years after the body of her daughter Kayla Cuevas was found. Cuevas was brutally murdered by members of MS-13.
Drago pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide, criminal mischief, and petit larceny after a confrontation with Rodriguez and her longtime partner Freddy Cuevas over their daughter's memorial.
Defense attorney Stephen Kunken said his client has a long history of PTSD and was trying to drive away. He said Cuevas's parents charged the SUV, pointing fingers and cursing.
"Her mental health disorders on top of the extreme anger that the two people surrounding her car were expressing caused her to be in a situation where she only had two choices, which were fight or flight," Kunken said.
Three neighbors and the cameraman from News 12, who captured the video, testified before the jury on Friday.
Rodriguez's family as well as District Attorney Timothy Sini appeared in court but didn't want to speak on camera.
The trial is scheduled to pick up again on Monday with the prosecution presenting additional witnesses.
Drago faces a maximum of four years in prison if she is found guilty.