A toddler was dropped to death from the window of a cruise ship 150ft by her grandfather who has pleaded guilty in the court.
Eighteen-month-old Chloe Weigand died when she fell from Salvatore Anello’s arms through a window on the 11th floor of the Royal Caribbean cruise ship the Freedom of the Seas while it was docked in Puerto Rico.
Anello has maintained he thought the window was closed and blamed his colorblindness for not being able to see there was no glass.
Today the 51-year-old formally pleaded guilty to negligent homicide as he appeared in court in San Juan,
A sentencing hearing will now take place on December 10 with Anello facing three years behind bars, reports El Vocero.
Anello made the plea from his home in Indiana, US, and claimed he could not travel to Puerto Rico due to risks associated with Covid-19.
The toddler’s parents – Kimberly and Alan Wiegand – have defended Anello since the events occurred.
Her grandfather said he picked Chloe up and held her over a railing on the 11th floor to look out a bank of windows on July 7, 2019.
Anello said he initially had the eighteen-month-old in a hug, but he then let one arm go as they both reached out to knock on the glass.
“At that point, she slipped. I didn’t realize there wasn’t any glass until absolutely it was too late,” Anello said in an interview.
“I saw her fall. I saw her fall the whole way down. It was disbelief.”
In a statement, an attorney for the Wiegand family, Michael Winkleman, said because the plea agreement did not include prison time and no admission of facts, it was in the family’s best interest to move on.
Chloe’s parents sued Royal Caribbean last year and accused the company of negligence.