As cited in a recent New York Post article, Richard Portale has stated that Vincent Viafore, the missing kayaker whose body was found last week in the Hudson River, died of an accidental drowning that could have been influenced by drinking before kayaking. Portale is representing Viafore’s fiancé, Angelika Graswald, who is currently charged with his murder.
Portale reported that he is currently awaiting the results of an autopsy, which he expects will show that Viafore was “acutely” intoxicated at the time of the kayak accident that resulted in his death. According to Portale, he believes that Viafore’s unfortunate death was merely an accident resulting from hypothermia and drowning and possibly, intoxication.
Prosecutors are arguing that Graswald, who stands to benefit from Viafore’s $250,000 life insurance policy, intentionally moved her fiancé’s paddle away from him after his kayak capsized and then, after he disappeared under the water, waited 10 minutes before calling 911.