Fiancée Convicted of Criminally Negligent Homicide in Hudson River Kayak Death


Angelika Graswald, a 37-year-old Latvian native, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in the death of her fiancé, Vincent Viafore, who drowned in the Hudson River in April 20151. Graswald was accused of tampering with Viafore's kayak, causing it to capsize and leading to his death1.

The Investigation

Graswald initially told investigators that Viafore's kayak capsized after he was hit by a wave and that she tried to save him but was unable to do so1. However, investigators later discovered that Graswald had removed a plug from Viafore's kayak, causing it to fill with water and capsize1. Graswald also admitted to tampering with Viafore's paddle, which made it difficult for him to maneuver the kayak1.

The Trial

Graswald was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but the jury ultimately convicted her of the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide1. She was sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison1.


The case was controversial, with some people arguing that Graswald was unfairly targeted because of her nationality and her unconventional behavior1. Graswald was known for her love of extreme sports, and she had a history of mental health issues1.


After months of negotiations, attorneys announced a settlement in August 20181. Graswald agreed to pay $250,000 to Viafore's estate in exchange for a waiver of any claims against her1.


Angelika Graswald's conviction in the death of her fiancé, Vincent Viafore, is a tragic reminder of the dangers of tampering with equipment during outdoor activities. While the case was controversial, the jury ultimately found Graswald guilty of criminally negligent homicide, and she was sentenced to prison.