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Grandfather charged in toddler’s fatal cruise ship fall to plead guilty

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Michiana grandfather accused of dropping his granddaughter from a cruise ship window will change his plea to guilty.

Salvatore Anello was previously charged with negligent homicide in December of 2019 following the death of toddler Chloe Wiegand in July.

Reports say that Anello decided to change his plea to guilty on Tuesday.

Anello appeared in a San Juan courtroom on Monday where he declined his right to a jury trial.

The hearing for the change in plea will take place at a currently undetermined date.

"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 so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe,” Attorney Michael Winkelman said in part following the decision.

Anello initially alleged that he did not know the window was open on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship when Wiegand was dropped from the 11th floor.

However, Royal Caribbean alleges that Anello leaned out the window before he picked up Wiegand and lifted her over a railing.

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