Angelika Graswald, 36, killed fiance Vincent Viafore, 46, by removing the drain plug, from his kayak, Pushing a floating paddle away from him after his kayak capsized
Graswald admitted tampering with the ring on her fiance’s paddle, to cops
She’s now recanted confession, claims it was coerced
Knew she would collect $250,000 insurance payout on his death
Indicted on 2nd degree murder, request that she be released on her own recognizance denied, bail set at $3 million or $9 million bond
A shackled and emotionless Angelika Graswald, in court.
Angelika Graswald, a 36-year-old woman from upstate New York who was accused of killing her fiance by tampering with his kayak before he drowned on the Hudson River admitted she removed a drain plug from his boat, an investigator testified Monday.
Ms Graswald confessed that she removed a drain plug from Vincent Viafore’s kayak last year and pushed a floating paddle away from him after his kayak capsized, authorities charge.
Testifying in an Orange County Court, State police Officer Aniello Moscato said that Graswald told another investigator she had pulled the plug and manipulated the ring on her fiance’s paddle.
“I was in shock,” said Moscato.
Graswald’s lawyer has argued that 46-year-old Viafore died after having some beers and falling into the cold water.
Vincent Viafore drowned on the Hudson River in a mishap engineered by his fiancee, Angelika Graswald (left)
The couple was kayaking on the Hudson on April 19 of last year when his boat went under. Viafore disappeared, but his body was discovered several weeks later.
As Viafore was drowning, the 36-year-old Graswald cried to a dispatcher, “I don’t see him anymore!”
The drowning death was later ruled a homicide by a medical examiner. Viafore’s death was the result of a “kayak drain plug intentionally removed by other,” according to the autopsy report. However, defense attorney Richard Portale, said the ruling was ill-informed and lacked medical evidence.
Graswald appeared to have confessed to the murder last year, but later denied her guilt and said she confessed under pressure. Graswald told ABC News last year that she loved Viafore and wouldn’t have done anything to kill him. Moscato testified Monday as part of a Huntley hearing, which continues Tuesday. A Huntley hearing regards statements the accused made to police, and how cops obtained the statements.
The kayaks used by the pair. Viafore was in the blue kayak.
Angelika and Vincent Viafore. Was he worth more to her dead?
The chilling part of the testimony wa the revelation by the the Orange County District Attorney’s Office that Graswald had told the police officers that ‘As she watched him drown, she “felt happiness and relief,”
Ms Graswald, told authorities that she “tampered with” the Poughkeepsie man’s kayak, knowing it “would contribute to his death.” Graswald also knew she was the beneficiary on two of Viafore’s life insurance policies and stood to gain $250,000 from his death, Mohl added
n court however, her attorney, Richard Portale, said he has reason to believe any statements Graswald made were coerced.
Graswald was indicted May 4 by a grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder, in connection with Viafore’s disappearance. At a bail hearingon Wednesday, Judge Robert Freehill refused Portale’s request that she be released on her own recognizance. Bail was set at $3 million or $9 million bond.
Viafore went missing on April 19, when he and Graswald left in separate kayaks from Plum Point, near the shore of Cornwall-On-Hudson around 4:15 p.m. and went across the Hudson River to Pollepel Island, commonly known as Bannerman Island, where Graswald was a volunteer, police said.
New York kayaker, Vincent Viafore, always the heart and soul of the party, Angelika Graswald with fiance Vincent Viafore.
Mohl said the couple stayed at Bannerman for about two hours. They were about two-thirds of the way back to Plum Point when Viafore’s “kayak filled with water, causing it to capsize,” Mohl said. “The victim was holding onto the kayak … he went under water and drowned,” around 7:15 p.m.
She did not call for help until 7:40 p.m., and while she was on the phone with 911, “she said she had a visual on her fiance and stated that she could see him for duration” of the call, which lasted until she herself capsized..
However, witnesses said they saw Graswald “intentionally” capsize. When she was questioned by police about inconsistencies in her statements, “she said she capsized her kayak purposely,” because she wanted authorities to think she tried to save Viafore.
Graswald told authorities she “felt happiness and relief” as she watched Viafore go into the water:
“it felt good knowing he was going to die,”because she felt trapped in the relationship. She told the rescue team how to locate the equipment, the red kayak she was in and the blue kayak Viafore was in, but not Viafore’s body, which the search party only recovered weeks later.
Graswald was also aware that she was the primary beneficiary on two of Viafore’s life insurance policies, and “talked about what she could do with the money” after his death, Mohl said.
Graswald, who is originally from Latvia and is in the U.S. with a permanent resident card, is “very confident sounding, so even if she doesn’t understand what you’re saying, she’ll answer in an affirmative tone,” her lawyer said. “She was suffering from hypothermia and the loss of her fiance, and there was a very clear language barrier.”