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'Kayak Killer' 'Ready To Begin Reconstructing Her Life,' Says Lawyer

Angelika Graswald of Poughkeepsie
Angelika Graswald of Poughkeepsie Photo Credit: New York State Police

Angelika Graswald walked out of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women on Thursday a free woman, just two months after being sentenced for the criminally negligent homicide of her fiance, Vincent Viafore.

"She is ready to take a big breath of fresh air and begin reconstructing her life," said her attorney Richard Portale. "It's going to be rough for her. It's been a long 32 months."

Known across the region as the "kayak killer," for removing the plug from Viafore's kayak, Graswald was sentenced to 1⅓ to 4 years, but was released once her time served had been calculated, state corrections officials said.

The 37-year-old, who admitted on Nov. 8 she helped cause the drowning death of Viafore, will be living in a rented apartment while she completes her 16 months of parole in Orange County, Portale said.

"She was incredibly lucky to find someone to rent her an apartment," he said.

The native of Latvia and a U.S. permanent resident, Portale said she could face deportation at any time, but he has not been approached by immigration officials.

Graswald was convicted of killing her 46-year-old Poughkeepsie financé during a Hudson River kayaking trip the couple took to Bannerman Island on April 19, 2015, in a case that has attracted national media attention. Graswald admitted that she facilitated Viafore’s drowning by removing the plug from his kayak and that she knew the locking clip on one of his paddles was missing.

She was also the beneficiary of his $250,000  life insurance policy.

"I can't comment on whether she will even try to collect the claim," Portale said. "This is still ongoing and there are so many variables pending."

Graswald, who had been married twice before, said after the sentencing  that she still loved and missed Viafore.

"I am not a murderer. I’ve said that from the beginning. If I could do anything to bring Vince back, I would."

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