Crime

Shocking Plea in Fiance’s Death to Collect Insurance – “I wanted him dead”

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She cruelly “moved the paddle away from him as he was struggling to stay afloat with water temperatures in the 40-degree range, and failed to render him assistance, including timely calls for help”, said the DA’s office.

A woman who was accused of intentionally drowning her fiance in the Hudson River by tampering with his kayak as part of a murderous plot to collect on his life insurance pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that could minimize the amount of additional time she spends in jail.

Angelika Graswald, a Latvian national, had been charged with secretly removing a drain plug from Vincent Viafore’s kayak before a daylong a boating excursion and then watching him drown after he capsized in the river in 2015. Her attorney had said that the death was an accident, caused by high waves, cold water and alcohol, and that police investigators had coerced her into blaming herself for the death during a lengthy interrogation.

“I wanted him dead and now he’s gone,” she told cops during a lengthy 2015 interrogation.

Graswald​, a woman who admitted to pulling the plug and was “euphoric” as she watched him drown in the frigid Hudson River dodged murder ​and manslaughter ​raps Monday, taking a plea deal for the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said Graswald, of Poughkeepsie, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, admitting she caused Viafore’s death on April 19, 2015, 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. The couple had been visiting an island that is home to Bannerman Castle.

Graswald was arrested on April 30, 2015, and Viafore’s body was found almost a month later. Prosecutors said the missing plug from Viafore’s kayak was found in the car Graswald was driving. Officials had argued a $250,000 life insurance policy was the motivation. Viafore would have been her third husband.

Her attorney, Richard Portale, said, “We’ve maintained from the very beginning this was not an intentional act.”

The criminally negligent homicide charge carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. Graswald is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 1. Portale said with the time she’s already been in custody she would likely be out by late December. The plea came in as Graswald casually performed yoga poses during the hearing.

Hoovler said the guilty plea will make Graswald, who has legal permanent U.S. residency, liable to be deported. Portale said if the federal government filed to have her deported, there would be a court proceeding to contest it.

Source: The New York Post

 

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