Breaking: Woman pleads guilty in fiancé’s kayak death in Hudson River

A New York woman whose fiancé died while on a kayaking trip admitted to pulling the drain plug on his kayak in a guilty plea to negligent homicide.

ABC 7 reports that Angelika Graswald pleaded guilty on Monday to the lesser offense, two years after she was charged with felony second-degree murder in the May 2015 drowning death of fiancé Vincent Viafore. Graswald had previously been accused of intentionally sabotaging the kayak by removing a drain plug, causing the kayak to fill with water and become unstable.

According to People magazine, prosecutors noted that Graswald was in position to collect $250,000 in a life insurance claim.

Graswald reportedly admitted to knowing he Viafore was drinking, that the weather was going to be potentially dangerous, and that her fiancé was not wearing the proper gear. But her attorney insists that she pulled the plug on the kayak several weeks before the fatal outing, and did not intend to kill Viafore.

“She didn’t admit she intentionally removed the drain plug so he could die. She had taken it out sometime prior to April 19 and she didn’t know there was this risk. She failed to perceive this risk,” attorney Richard Portale told People in an interview after the plea.

The attorney insisted that Graswald “did not intend to kill him and that is a matter of record now.”

Graswald will be sentenced in November 1, and could face up to four years behind bars.


Feature photo: Associated Press