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Woman Accused Of Killing Fiancé While Kayaking In Hudson Due In Court

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

A Poughkeepsie woman charged with murdering her fiancé during a kayaking trip in April 2015, is scheduled to appear in Orange County Court on Monday for a conference, according to the New York State Unified Court System.

Angelika Graswald, 37, whose trial is scheduled for Aug. 15, 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.

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.

Her lead attorney, Richard Portale, says Viafore's death was a tragic accident and that she gave a false confession to police.

In return, 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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