A 37-year-old woman from Latvia pleaded guilty to felony negligent homicide on July 24. The crime stems from the death of her fiancé in 2015. She previously pleaded not guilty to felonies of second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The woman was kayaking on the Hudson River with her 46-year-old fiancé when he died. Authorities said the man drowned when his kayak overturned. The woman called 911 for help. Despite pleading guilty to negligent homicide, the defendant said that she loved her fiancé, and she denied being a murderer. When she pleaded guilty, she confessed that she should have been aware of the dangers of kayaking in the Hudson that day.
The prosecution believes that the woman pulled a plug on her fiancé’s kayak, which caused it fill with water and sink. In an interrogation that lasted 12 hours, the defendant stated many times that she did not kill her fiancé. However, at one point in the interrogation she said that she wanted her fiancé dead. She later defended this action in an interview by saying that she said that once she had reached her “breaking point.”
Violent crimes are often penalized with lengthy prison sentences. A person who is accused of homicide might want to consult with a lawyer before talking directly to law enforcement. The attorney could help by discussing legal options and helping the client contextualize their interactions with law enforcement. By developing a legal strategy, the lawyer could help the defendant during negotiations with the prosecution and at trial if necessary.