Grandfather who dropped child to death from cruise ship changes plea
An elderly man who accidentally dropped his young grandchild over the side of a cruise ship last year has changed his plea to guilty.
Salvatore ''Sam'' Anello, who hails from Indiana accidentally dropped his 18-month-old granddaughter Chloe Wiegand over the side of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship while on vacation with his family in July of 2019. CCTV footage shows the girl slipping from Anello's grasp and falling 150 feet to her death while the liner was docked in a Puerto Rican port.Take a look at this interview with Mr. Anello in the video below:
Anello was charged with negligent homicide in Puerto Rico, and initially pled ''not guilty.'' However, according to a report by CNN, he has now changed his plea to ''guilty.''
In a statement made on Wednesday, Anello's lawyer Michael Winkleman said: "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."
Winkleman also added: "We still maintain this was a tragic, preventable accident that never would have occurred if Royal Caribbean followed the industry-standard window fall prevention codes that are designed for the singular purpose of preventing children from falling out of windows."
Speaking to CBS News reporter David Begnaud about the accident, Anello stated: "I saw her fall. I saw her fall the whole way down. I saw her fall, and it was just disbelief. I was like, 'Oh my God.'"
He added: "The more and more days go by ... I couldn't help but blame myself. But I know that ... if there was a sign if there was something that indicated there was a chance for that window to be an opening, that this wouldn't happen [sic]."