Grandfather who held toddler before fatal cruise ship fall pleads guilty

Salvatore Anello will not serve prison time, lawyer says

FILE - This May 11, 2006 file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, N.J. (AP Photo/Mike Derer, File) (Mike Derer, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The grandfather of a 1-year-old girl who died after falling 150 feet from a cruise ship has pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent homicide.

Investigators say Salvatore Anello was holding Chloe Wiegand when she fell from Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas cruise ship last July.

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Authorities say Anello rested the little girl against an open window while the ship was docked in Puerto Rico, causing her to fall.

Anello told investigators he believed the window was closed and that Wiegand slipped from his hands.

Royal Caribbean says surveillance video shows Anello leaning out of the window for about eight seconds just before he lifted his granddaughter to the window.

Anello’s attorneys say he will not serve any prison time but will serve probation.

Wiegand’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Royal Caribbean.

About the Author:

Cathleigh is a newscast producer and has been with News 6 since 2014. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications, with a focus in broadcast journalism. Cathleigh produces the 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. newscasts.