We have been following the case of Angelika Graswald who is accused of murdering her fiancé Vincent Viafore by sabotaging his kayak on a river outing on the Hudson. Indeed, we previously heard that she had confessed and said “it felt good” to see Viafore die. Now there is a report that Graswald confessed , saying “All right, I’ll give you a f–king statement . . . I wanted him dead and now he’s gone . . . And I’m OK with it.” The fact that Graswald was sent to prison this week is hardly a surprise, but what was surprising was the term of incarceration. Graswald was given a plea bargain for negligent homicide and given the maximum one-and-a third to 4 years in state prison.
Graswald was set to stand trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore when she pled guilty.
I remarked earlier that much of the case was circumstantial, particularly if her statements were not found to be admissible. Her lawyers argued that this was an accident caused by a combination of bad weather and alcohol. Moreover, they were ready to present evidence that the removal of the plug alone would not have resulted in the rapid sinking of the kayak.
However, the circumstantial case was quite damning, including a powerful motive alleged in his $250,000 life insurance policy. Nevertheless, the prosecutors must have had real uncertainty over their prevailing to agree to such a light sentence. The knockdown from 25 to life is startling and many have denounced the plea as a “sweetheart” deal.