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Trial Of Woman Accused Of Killing Fiancé In Hudson River Set For August

Angelika Graswald, charged in the death of Vincent Viafore after a kayaking trip on the Hudson River, has been blocked from receiving his life insurance benefits until further notice.
Angelika Graswald, charged in the death of Vincent Viafore after a kayaking trip on the Hudson River, has been blocked from receiving his life insurance benefits until further notice. Photo Credit: File photo

The case against a Poughkeepsie woman charged with murdering her fiancé during a kayaking trip in April 2015, will finally get underway on Tuesday, Aug. 15, following several delays and hearings.

Angelika Graswald, 37, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Vincent Viafore, 46, also of Poughkeepsie.

Her attorney, Richard Portale, said he intends to begin selecting a jury on Aug. 15 and the trial to begin by Aug. 21.

Because of a gag order, Portale said he couldn't comment on his client, but did say: "Boy, it's too bad you can't read my mind right now."

Graswald was charged after State Police responded to a report of a missing kayaker on the Hudson River on Sunday, April 19. At approximately 7:40 p.m., Graswald contacted Orange County 911 and reported that she Viafore, were kayaking on the Hudson in between Plum Point and Bannerman’s Island, several miles north of West Point. Graswald reported to 911 that Viafore’s kayak capsized due to choppy waters and she could not locate him in the river.

She later told investigators that she pulled a plug and manipulated a ring on his paddle. An Orange County Judge ruled in December that prosecutors could use the statements Graswald made to police after Viafore's death.

Portale claimed earlier that Viafore's death was a tragic accident and that she gave a false confession to police.

Prosecutors say Graswald tampered with Viafore's kayak, causing it to sink in an effort to claim a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Graswald has been awaiting trial in the Orange County Jail since her arrest.

Viafore's body was located on May 23, 2015, floating in the Hudson River.

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