The grandfather of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, who tragically fell to her death from the open window of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, pleaded guilty to charges of negligent homicide. Salvatore Anello, 51, initially pleaded not guilty to the charges but announced in February that he would change his plea as part of an agreement with Puerto Rican prosecutors that would allow him to avoid prison and serve his probation in his home state of Indiana.
Anello was with his family on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in July 2019 when Chloe fell out of an 11-story window while the ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Anello was holding Chloe and did not realize the window was opened. As Chloe went to the hit the glass, as she did at her brother's hockey games, she slipped and fell out of Anello's arms and landed on the dock below.
Anello will be sentenced on October 10.
The family is still embroiled in a lawsuit with Royal Caribbean. They claim that the cruise line is at fault for Chloe's death and should have put a warning sign stating the window was open.
"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 so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe and fighting for cruise passenger safety by raising awareness about the need for all common carriers to adhere to window fall prevention laws designed to protect children from falling from windows," the family's attorney Michael Winkleman said in a statement.
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