Grandfather of toddler who died in cruise ship fall changes plea to guilty

National

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (WESH 2) —The grandfather of the 18-month-old girl who fell to her death from an open window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico plans to plead guilty in a deal that will allow him to avoid jail time.

Salvatore Anello said in a statement released by his attorney that he took the plea deal “to try to help end part of this nightmare for my family, if possible.”

“This decision was an incredibly difficult one for Sam and the family, but because the plea agreement includes no jail time and no admission of facts, it was decided the plea deal is in the best interests of the family,” his attorney Michael Winkleman said in a statement.

Anello was charged with negligent homicide in the death of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand. The death occurred in July 2019 as the girl from Granger, Indiana, vacationed with her family aboard the Freedom of the Seas of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Anello has said he did not know the window was open when he lifted Chloe to it so she could bang on the glass.

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