Confession ruled admissible in Hudson River kayak murder trial

GOSHEN, New York (WABC) -- The taped confession of a woman accused of murdering her fiance while they were on a Hudson River kayaking trip will be shown in her trial, which is set to begin on Valentine's Day.

A judge made the ruling Friday, propelling forward the case against Angelika Graswald. It was a blow to the defense, which tried to have the confession suppressed.

The judge ruled that the statements she made to police were admissible, including virtually all of the videotaped interrogation with investigators that lasted 11 hours. The defense had argued comments she made before she was informed she was a suspect should have been thrown out.

Prosecutors say Graswald removed a drain plug from Vincent Viafore's kayak in April 2015 and pushed a floating paddle away from him after his kayak capsized.

A Cornwall police officer previously testified that Graswald appeared calm and emotionless after she was rescued. State Police Senior Investigator Aniello Moscato also testified Graswald told another investigator she had pulled a plug on the kayak and manipulated the ring on Viafore's paddle.

Graswald has denied murder and manslaughter charges, and her lawyer has argued that Viafore died accidentally after having had a few beers and falling into the cold water.

The drowning death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, who wrote in an autopsy report obtained by The New York Times that Viafore's death was the result of a "kayak drain plug intentionally removed by other."

Defense attorney Richard Portale told the newspaper the medical examiner's ruling was ill-informed and lacked medical evidence.

Graswald told ABC News in an interview broadcast in November that she loved Viafore and wouldn't have done anything to kill him. She said she's a good person, not a killer.
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