December 21, 2017 05:58 PM

Less than two months after New York woman Angelika Graswald was sentenced to prison following a guilty plea of criminally negligent homicide in the drowning death of her fiancé as they kayaked on the Hudson River, she was released Thursday from jail, according to multiple news reports.

“Reconstructing her life is going to be difficult,” said her attorney, Richard Portale, who picked Graswald up from the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal“Her day-to-day, her reality, is much different today than it was 32 months ago when she was in jail.”

Graswald had been facing second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Vincent Viafore, 46, whose kayak capsized on the frigid, rough waters of the Hudson River on April 19, 2015.

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But as she faced an imminent trial, Graswald pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in July.

On Nov. 8, Graswald was sentenced to 15 months to four years in state prison, but Portale had told PEOPLE he expected her to be home in December due to time served in the Orange County, New York, jail since her arrest in April 2015.

Once Graswald completes her 16-month parole, she could face deportation to her native Latvia, prosecutors have said, according to the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Allyse Pulliam/Times Herald-Record/AP

Prosecutors have said Graswald would have collected $250,000 in life insurance benefits from Viafore’s death.

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Portale, Graswald’s attorney, had long maintained Viafore died accidentally when his kayak capsized and he fell into the cold and rough waters.

Kayaking and hypothermia experts had told PEOPLE it was a dangerous day for Viafore to be out on the 47-degree water with no life jacket or wetsuit, and in a kayak not meant for the rough conditions of the Hudson River.


Graswald had steadfastly maintained her innocence. In three jailhouse interviews with PEOPLE, Graswald tearfully described Viaforte’s death as a tragic accident — and not a homicide.

“I’m numb. I’m devastated. The truth will prevail,” she told PEOPLE in 2015. “I feel he’s always with me,” Graswald said. “He’s with me here.”

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