The district attorney who offered sweetheart plea deal to killer kayak fiance Angelika Graswald, defended the decision on Tuesday but said he was “not happy with the end results.”
Graswald, 37, could go free by year’s end and ultimately spend as little as 16 months behind bars for the killing of Vincent Viafore.
A defensive Orange County DA David Hoovler insisted that Graswald’s plea deal to criminally negligent homicide was the best result possible to make sure she owned up to the killing.
“I’m not happy with the end results – but given what the evidence was, I think it was a fair result, ” he said.
The deal comes despite Graswald making stunning statements to cops that she wanted her fiance permanently out of the picture.
“I wanted him dead and now he’s gone,” she told police during a lengthy 2015 interrogation. “And I’m OK with it.”
Hoovler insisted conviction for second-degree murder would have been no slam dunk.
The prosecutor said his staff explained to Viafore’s family the risks of going to trial – and the chance Graswald could have been acquitted.
Now Graswald faces deportation when she gets out of jail, which could be as soon as December given the time she has already served.
“We were prepared to try the case,” Hoovler said. “But again, we wanted some level of certainty that we could take to the family, that this case has been resolved. We know she did it.”
Graswald had faced 25-years-to-life had she been convicted of all charges.
In court on Monday, Graswald tearfully admitted she pulled the plug from hubby-to-be Viafore and watched him drown in the Hudson River in April 2015. Graswald admitted she knew the victim wasn’t wearing a life vest.
Hoovler stopped short of calling Graswald a stone-cold killer and said her incriminating statements fell short of a confession.
“It was never a direct confession,” he said. “She indicated that she pulled the plug (from the kayak). Pulling the plug itself only sets the chain of events in motion (ending in Viafore’s death).”