Woman in Kayak Killing Learns Her Fate

Angelika Graswald gets up to 4 years, but she could be out of jail next month
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2017 1:30 PM CST
Woman in Kayak Killing Sentenced, May Be Free Soon
Angelika Graswald stands in court with her attorneys in Goshen, N.Y., in this May file photo.   (Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record via AP, Pool)

In July, Angelika Graswald admitted causing her fiance's high-profile death by removing the plug from his kayak. On Wednesday, the 37-year-old received the maximum sentence, which sounds a lot worse than it actually is: Graswald's attorney expects her to be out of jail next month, reports the AP. A judge sentenced the Latvian native to 16 months to 4 years in prison on her guilty plea of criminally negligent homicide, and because of time already served, her attorney said she is expected to be out on parole by the end of the year. Graswald had originally been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore, who died while kayaking in rough water in the Hudson River in 2015. Police found the plug to his kayak in Graswald's vehicle, and she struck a plea deal just ahead of her murder trial.

"I loved Vince very much and miss him terribly," Graswald said in a statement read by her attorney outside court in Goshen. "I don't believe I was treated fairly. This entire process was incredibly one-sided and unjust." But Viafore's sister read her own statement in court, saying the family felt that Graswald was getting off too lightly. "My brother did not deserve to have his life end this way." Prosecutors made the case that Graswald killed Viafore in order to collect about $250,000 in life insurance. And while Graswald's guilty plea does not technically rule out that possibility, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports that it's highly unlikely Graswald will get any of the money. In fact, she might be deported to Latvia when her sentence is completed. (More kayaking stories.)

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