Grandfather in Toddler's Cruise Ship Death Sentenced

Salvatore Anello will not serve jail time
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2021 3:01 PM CST
Grandfather of Girl Who Fell From Cruise Ship Sentenced
Stock image showing balconies on a cruise ship.   (Getty Images)

A grandfather who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in the fall of his young granddaughter from an 11th-story window of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico was sentenced Monday to three years' probation, according to justice officials. NBC News reports Salvatore "Sam" Anello, of Valparaiso, Indiana, pleaded not guilty at first, but ended up pleading guilty in October 2020 as a way to avoid jail time and allow the family to focus on healing. Defense attorney Michael Winkleman has said Anello would serve probation in his home state. Anello was aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Freedom of the Seas ship with family in July 2019 when the death occurred.

He has said he did not know the window in the children's play area was open and that he lifted 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand up to it so she could knock on the glass as she had done at her brother's hockey games, reports the AP. The girl's parents sued Royal Caribbean in a civil case that is still ongoing. Anello has said he didn't know the window was open; the cruise line has tried to counter that claim using video footage. The family's attorney says the surveillance footage provides "deceptive views."

(More Royal Caribbean stories.)

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