May 2 Hearing Will Determine If Statements Made To Police Will Be Admitted At Trial

By Diane Herbst
Updated February 25, 2016 05:15 PM

The attorney for Angelika Graswald, the woman accused of killing her fiancé when the couple kayaked on the Hudson River, has filed a motion to suppress video of Graswald’s interrogation in which she says she wanted her fiancé dead, he told reporters Thursday.

On the video, which was originally obtained by CBS’ 48 Hours, Graswald is heard saying to police, “Alright, I’ll give you an [expletive] statement.”

When a detective asks, “What is it?” Graswald responds, “I wanted him dead and now he’s gone.” She adds, “And I’m okay with it.”

However, Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale has told PEOPLE that police “mentally hammered” Graswald for hours about the alleged unfaithfulness of her fiancé, Vince Viafore.

“They convinced her that Vince was sleeping with everyone at work,” Portale has told PEOPLE. “That everyone knew but her. She was hurt, reeling and lashed out and stated she wanted him dead.”

On May 2, there will be a so-called Huntley hearing before Judge Robert Freehill to discuss the matter, Portale said today. (A Huntley Hearing is a pretrial hearing requested for the purpose of reviewing the manner in which the police obtained statements from the defendant, according to its legal definition.)

Graswald has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

While prosecutors allege that Graswald tampered with Viafore’s kayak and paddle to cause his death, Portale has said Viafore’s death was a tragic accident due to Viafore’s not wearing a life jacket, along with rough river conditions and the water’s frigid temperature.

Kayaking and hypothermia experts told PEOPLE that it was a dangerous day for the couple to be on the 46-degree water.

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Lawyer: Graswald ‘Doing Great’

Portale spoke today following a five-minute hearing. Graswald appeared in court for a status conference in a rumpled orange jumpsuit, her hands shackled in front of her.

Graswald has been held in the Orange County Jail on bail of $3 million in cash or $9 million bond since her arrest on April 29.

When asked how Graswald is holding up, Portale said “she is doing great. She is grounded, she’s got both feet on the ground and she’s looking forward to seeing the light again.”

Judge Robert Freehill announced to the court he’s set aside the week of May 2 to focus on pre-trial hearings related to the case.

“Nothing was dismissed and the case is going to move on,” said Portale, who is under a gag order and not allowed to elaborate on defense motions he has filed. He said a trial date will be picked in early May, and estimates it will be set for late May or early June.

Graswald has proclaimed her innocence to PEOPLE in three jailhouse interviews, claiming she had nothing to do with Viafore’s disappearance after his kayak capsized on rough waters April 19.