Archive for criminally negligent homicide

Woman Convicted in Fiancé’s Death Entitled to Portion of his Life Insurance

Angelika Graswald, who earlier this year pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide for pulling a drain plug in her husband’s kayak and watching him drown, was back in court Monday, fighting for money from his life insurance policy. CBS New York reported that after months of negotiations, attorneys announced a settlement.

“There is a financial settlement, the amount of which is confidential,” said Anthony Piscionere, Graswald’s attorney.

In her plea, Graswald admitted to failing to perceive that her actions would lead to the death of her then 46-year old husband Vince Viafore.

“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,” Piscionere said.

Graswald served less than three years, out of a maximum of four, in prison before she was released in December 2017.

Throughout the hearing, her late husband’s family had been trying to block any sort of settlement and considered pursuing a wrongful death suit in civil court.

“There’s nothing worse than losing a child, and that is something you will never get over. You have to live with it every day,” Mary Ann Viafore said back in January.

But the family’s hard-line stance seemed to soften a bit in the days leading up to Monday.

“It’s time to let this family move on,” said Allan Rappleyea, the attorney for the Viafore family.

Rappleyea informed them of the settlement after a closed meeting with the judge that addressed other loose ends in the case.

The family did not respond to requests to talk about the settlement.

“This was done with the assistance of the court. We didn’t have any direct conversation with them,” Rappleyea said.

Though the final sum of the life insurance policy isn’t currently known, Viafore had named Graswald beneficiary of 45 percent of his death benefit or a little more than $491,000.

Once in the court’s possession during the lawsuit, the money will now be distributed according to the confidential settlement.