Woman Who Admitted To Causing Fiancé's Kayak Death Gets Max Sentence

Wednesday, November 8th 2017, 4:54 pm
By: News 9

A woman who admitted to causing her fiancé's death by removing a plug from his kayak before a Hudson River outing is heading to prison, reports CBS New York.

Angelika Graswald, 37, was sentenced to the maximum one-and-a third to 4 years in state prison Wednesday in Orange County Court.

Graswald pleaded guilty in July to criminally negligent homicide.

The plea came weeks before she was set to stand trial on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore, of Poughkeepsie, who drowned while the couple was kayaking in April 2015. 

Prosecutors accused Graswald of removing a drain plug from Viafore's kayak and pushing a floating paddle away from him after his kayak capsized. "48 Hours" investigated the case in the episode, "Death on the Hudson."

Graswald's attorneys said the death was an accident, caused by high waves, cold water and alcohol. They said the plug in the kayak police say led to his drowning was removed long before the incident. They also argued that paddling with the plug removed from the drainage hole — a small opening on the top of the kayak — wouldn't have caused Viafore's kayak to fill with a large amount of water.

Graswald, a Latvian national, admitted she caused the death of her fiancé by removing the plug from his kayak, knowing that he wasn't wearing a life vest or wetsuit and that the Hudson River waters were dangerous and cold.

Prosecutors said she did it for his $250,000 life insurance policy.