News 12's Eileen Lehpamer testifies in trial of driver charged in Evelyn Rodriguez death
Emotional testimony was heard Monday in the trial of a Patchogue woman accused of running over and killing an anti-gang activist.
Ann Marie Drago is facing criminally negligent homicide charges. Drago is accused of killing anti-gang activist Evelyn Rodriguez in 2018.
The incident happened before a vigil for Rodriguez's daughter Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, who were allegedly murdered by MS-13.
News 12 reporter Eileen Lehpamer was covering the vigil on the day the incident happened. Lehpamer described to the jury what she saw and at times broke down crying.
"She was bleeding from the head. She was bleeding from the mouth. Her chest was crushed," says Lehpamer. "She looked at me and I held her hand. I squeezed her hand. I didn't want her to be alone."
Prosecutors say there was a heated exchange between the two after Drago took down a memorial for the girls.
Freddy Cuevas, Rodriguez's longtime partner, admitted on the stand that he was yelling angrily and cursing at Drago. He said that didn't give Drago the right to run over Rodriguez.
Drago's attorney says his client feared for her life and was trying to get away from scene.
"It was clear she didn't see Evelyn there," says Drago's attorney, Stephen Kunken. "She felt that it was safe to drive her car forward to get away from Freddy."
Kelsey Cuevas, Rodriguez's daughter, says she doesn't believe it was an accident. Cuevas says Drago had to have seen her mother in front of the car.