Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on March 22 that Madeline Henriquez, 22, of Brentwood, pleaded guilty to running over a woman and killing her, fleeing the scene, and attempting to hide her vehicle which had sustained extensive damage from the crash.
“Cherokee Fletcher was a mother of five young children. She was standing at a light waiting to cross the street after getting cash for one of her kids to attend a field trip. As she stood feet from the home she shared with her children, this defendant drove up onto the sidewalk and crashed into her. Instead of stopping and getting help or rendering aid to Cherokee, this defendant drove away leaving her to die, and later attempted to conceal her cowardly crimes,” said District Attorney Tierney. “There are no penalties under the law that can make up for the fact that there are five children right now who are left without a mother because of this defendant’s recklessness.”
According to the investigation and the defendant’s admissions during her guilty plea allocution, on May 23, 2022 at approximately 10:08 p.m., Henriquez was driving a 2012 Hyundai Elantra eastbound on Motor Parkway at a high rate of speed when she swerved into the northbound lane of Wicks Road, striking a vehicle and subsequently striking 28-year-old Cherokee Fletcher, who was standing on the southeast corner of Motor Parkway and Wicks Road.
Fletcher, who had five children between the ages of one to seven years old, was killed as a result of being struck by Henriquez. Henriquez did not slow down or stop at the scene and proceeded eastbound on Motor Parkway until she returned to her home in Brentwood.
Henriquez admitted she later had a tow truck pick up the Hyundai and bring it to another residence in Brentwood for repairs related to the damage from the crash. The windshield and passenger side of Henriquez’s vehicle had extensive damage consistent with being involved in a crash with both a vehicle and pedestrian.
On May 26, 2022, a search warrant was executed for the residence in Brentwood where Henriquez’s car was being worked on, and the vehicle was impounded. One week later, on June 2, 2022, Henriquez surrendered at the Suffolk County Police Department’s Fourth Precinct and was arrested. A search warrant was granted for Henriquez’s cell phone which she agreed to provide to police during her surrender. However, Henriquez instead provided a phone that was not in use at the time of the crash in an effort to conceal evidence showing her knowledge of the crimes.
On March 22, 2023, Henriquez pleaded guilty to the following charges:
Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C felony,
Leaving the Scene without Reporting, a Class D felony,
Two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E felony, and
Reckless Driving, an Unclassified misdemeanor.
She is due back in court on May 19 for sentencing, and is expected to be sentenced to
3 1⁄2 to 10 1⁄2 years in prison.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.