Woman convicted of killing fiance reportedly gets portion of life insurance money

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2017 file photo, Angelika Graswald stands with her attorneys Jeffrey Chartier, left, and Richard Portale during her sentencing at the Orange County courthouse in Goshen, N.Y. Graswald, initially charged with murder in the drowning death of her fiance during a New York kayak outing, is being released from prison after pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Graswald, of Poughkeepsie, admitted she should have perceived the risk of danger and was sentenced in November to 16 months to four years in prison. (Jim Sabastian/Times Herlad-Record via AP, Pool, File)

NEW YORK — A woman who pleaded guilty to killing her fiance while paddling the Hudson River is entitled to a portion of his life insurance policy, CBS News reported.

The family of Vincent Viafore had filed a wrongful death lawsuit to prevent Angelika Graswald from collecting $491,000 from his life insurance policies. On Monday, attorneys for Graswald confirmed they had reached a settlement, but the terms of that deal are confidential.

Her lawyer told CBS News that her guilty plea didn’t prevent her from taking some of her finace’s money.

“The criminal plea did not disqualify our client from taking these funds. They still had to prove that she recklessly or intentionally committed this murder, and I think that was going to be a very high bar for them to meet.”

Graswald pleaded guilty in Orange County Court and was behind bars for nearly three years.

Police initially considered Viafore’s death in choppy, frigid waters during the couple’s 2015 kayaking trip an accident. But Graswald made some suspicious comments to investigators, including mentioning that she had removed a plug from the kayak before they put it in the water.

Graswald was questioned for 11 hours and told police she was ambivalent about Viafore’s drowning because they had been in a bad relationship.

“I wanted him dead, and now he’s gone and I’m fine with it,” she said during the interrogation.

Police and prosecutors developed a theory that Graswald, also of Poughkeepsie, plotted to kill Viafore to collect some of his life insurance policies. Graswald initially was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The defense said Viafore’s death was an accident caused by high waves, cold water and alcohol.

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