Grandfather of toddler who fell to death from cruise ship to plead guilty

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (WNDU) – The grandfather of a Granger girl who fell to her death from a cruise ship in Puerto Rico will change his plea in the matter.

Salvatore “Sam” Anello will change his plea to guilty, according to a statement from his attorneys obtained by NBC News.

Anello is charged with negligent homicide in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, who fell from an 11th-floor window of a cruise ship in July.

Chloe’s father is a South Bend police officer.

The plea reportedly will keep Anello from serving jail time.

“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 and fighting for cruise passenger safety by raising awareness about the need for all common carriers to adhere to window fall prevention laws designed to protect children from falling from windows,” a statement from maritime attorney Michael Winkleman of Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman P.A says.

A hearing date to change the plea has not yet been determined.

The statement from the attorney says Anello will serve probation in Indiana.

Anello on Monday declined his right to a jury trial.

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