Grandfather Pleads Guilty in Toddler's Cruise Ship Death

'Sam' Anello was charged with recklessly causing fatal fall of Chloe Wiegand
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2020 1:58 PM CDT
Updated Oct 15, 2020 2:08 PM CDT
Grandfather Pleads Guilty in Toddler's Cruise Ship Death
This file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, N.J.   (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File)

A criminal case against a grandfather charged in the fatal plunge of his young granddaughter on a cruise ship is over. Salvatore "Sam" Anello of Indiana has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the death last year of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, reports NBC News. The plea means he will not serve any jail time and can serve out a probationary period from home. While the ship was docked in Puerto Rico, Anello was holding Chloe near a railing on the 11th floor.

They both reached forward to knock on window glass, as she liked to do at her brother's hockey games, per the South Bend Tribune. "At that point, she slipped," Anello previously explained. "I didn’t realize there wasn’t any glass until absolutely it was too late. ... I saw her fall the whole way down. It was disbelief.” Authorities in Puerto Rico filed charges, though the family blames Royal Caribbean for the tragedy. The family's lawsuit against the company continues. (Royal Caribbean pins the blame squarely on Anello.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.