A grandfather pleaded guilty Thursday to negligent homicide in the fatal fall of his young granddaughter from an 11th-story window of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico last year.
Eighteen-month-old Chloe Wiegand slipped from his grasp and fell about 150 feet from an open window of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Freedom of the Seas ship in July 2019.
According to the reports, defense attorney Michael Winkleman said in a statement that Anello, 51, will not face any jail time and that he will serve probation in Indiana.
“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 so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe and fighting for cruise passenger safety,” he said.
Records show Anello, has repeatedly said he did not know the window in the children’s play area was open and that he lifted Chloe up to it so she could knock on the glass-like she had done at her brother’s hockey games.
“I wasn’t drinking and I wasn’t dangling her out of a window,” he said in a previous statement. He said he is colorblind and might not have realized the tinted window was open. The girl’s parents sued Royal Caribbean last year and accused the company of negligence.