Woman accused of fatally sabotaging her fiance’s kayak on New York’s Hudson River pleads guilty over his death
Angelika Graswald, pled down the had murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Vincent Viafore, to criminally negligent homicide on Monday
Angelika Graswald, 37, is accused in the drowning death of fiancé Vincent Viafore, 46
Prosecutors say she contributed to Viafore’s drowning on New York’s Hudson River in April 2015, by removing the drain plug, from his kayak
She then pushed a floating paddle away from him after his kayak capsized
She had been facing murder and manslaughter charges but pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide
Graswald previously told police that she wanted to be ‘free from [Viafore’s] sex demands’
After admitting tampering with the ring on her fiance’s paddle, to cops, the defendant recanted confession, claiming it was coerced
Investigators say she Knew she would collect $250,000 insurance payout on his death and indicted her on 2nd degree murder
Faces four-year prison sentence on criminally negligent homicide at sentencing
She has has been in custody awaiting trial
Angelika Graswald [left], claimed she wanted to escape boyfriend Vincent Viafore’s sex demands. That desire led to the murder
A woman accused of removing a drain plug from her fiance’s kayak and contributing to his drowning on New York’s Hudson River has pled guilty.
Prosecutors say Poughkeepsie resident Angelika Graswald removed the plug from 46-year-old Vincent Viafore’s kayak and pushed a floating paddle away from him after the kayak capsized in April 2015.
Graswald had been facing murder and manslaughter charges but pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on Monday in Orange County Court.
Angelika Graswald, 37, pleaded guilty on Monday in Orange County Court over the 2015 death of her fiance Vincent Viafore on New York’s Hudson River. She is pictured here in 2015
Her attorney has said the death was an accident and was caused by high waves, cold water and alcohol.
Graswald, who has been in custody awaiting trial, had told police that she wanted to be ‘free from his sex demands and threesome desires’, earlier court hearings heard.
She said she was unable to save Viafore when he capsized without a life jacket. She was rescued from the water by another boater and treated for hypothermia.
But prosecutors said she removed the drain plug from the kayak and pushed a floating paddle away from him as he struggled in the cold and choppy Hudson River.
Viafore’s body was found three weeks after he disappeared by a fisherman near the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“it felt good knowing he was going to die” – Angelika Graswald, killed her fiance Vincent Viafore, by removing the drain plug from his kayak and kicking away his oar then intentionally capsizing her own kayak. Stood to gain 250k insurance payout
Graswald [right], pled down the had murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Vincent Viafore [left], to criminally negligent homicide on Monday
Court docs say Graswald [mugshot left], removed the plug from Viafore’s kayak and pushed a floating paddle away from him after the kayak capsized in April 2015
By then, Graswald had already been charged with murder.
Prosecutors claimed she wanted out of her relationship with Viafore and had wanted to get her hands on $250,000 in life insurance.
At Graswald’s arraignment in May 2015, Orange County Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said: ‘She felt trapped, and it was her only way out.’
Mohl added that Graswald had admitted tampering with Viafore’s kayak and later confessed that ‘it felt good knowing he would die.’
She also did not call 911 for 20 minutes after Viafore’s kayak overturned and witnesses said she intentionally capsized her own craft, according to Mohl.
The criminally negligent homicide charge she pleaded guilty to on Monday carries a sentence of up to four years in prison.
“it felt good knowing he was going to die,”because she felt trapped in the relationship.” Angelika Graswald earlier, had told investigators she caused Viafore’s death because she wanted to be ‘free from his sex demands and threesome desires’
Orange County Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl said in 2015 that Graswald [above] admitted tampering with Viafore’s kayak and intentionally capsized her own craft
Witnesses 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.”