A 37-year-old woman convicted of causing her fiance’s drowning death by tampering with his kayak during an outing on the Hudson River is being released from prison.
Angelika Graswald, of Poughkeepsie, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide over the summer for the death of 46-year-old Vincent Viafore and was sentenced on November 8 to 16 months to four years in prison.
She has been in jail since her April 2015 arrest, which counted toward her time served.
Almost a free woman: Angelika Graswald, pictured in court in November, will be released from prison on Thursday, six weeks after her sentencing
Killer bride: Graswald pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide over the summer for the kayaking death of her fiance, 46-year-old Vincent Viafore (left)
Graswald and Viafore went kayaking on a choppy Hudson River near Bannerman Island on April 19, 2015.
Prosecutors said Viafore’s kayak started sinking after Graswald secretly removed a drain plug.
The bride-to-be admitted to hastening her fiance’s demise by pushing a floating paddle away from him.
Graswald was originally charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, but took a plea deal in July, just weeks before her murder trial was set to start.
State corrections spokesman Thomas Mailey says Graswald is being conditionally released from Bedford Hills Correctional Facility on Thursday. She will be supervised by Community Supervision staff in Dutchess County.
In a statement through her lawyer after the sentencing, Graswald said: ‘I loved Vince very much and miss him terribly.’
Viafore’s kayak (pictured) started sinking after Graswald secretly removed a drain plug
Graswald has been at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility (pictured) since November 20
‘I don’t believe I was treated fairly. This entire process was incredibly one-sided and unjust.’
But the victim’s mother, Mary Ann Viafore, said she doesn’t believe a word Graswald says.
‘Four years for taking someone’s life? No way,’ she told CBS. ‘My son was a good man and everybody loved him and we miss him very much. I don’t ever want to see her again if I don’t have to.’
Prior to her sentencing, the victim’s sister read a statement to the court saying Viafore didn’t deserve to die the way he did.
‘When I think of my brother’s last moments alive, I think of the pain he must have endured,’ Laura Rice said, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.
‘I visualize him trying to survive hypothermia in the freezing cold river, confused and not understanding why the woman who said she loved him and wanted to marry him did nothing to help him.’
Graswald has been at Bedrford Hills since November 20. Prior to that, she was held at the Orange County Jail.
Prosecutors have said Graswald, who is a US permanent resident, could face deportation to her native Latvia after her 16-month parole.