Indiana man Salvatore “Sam” Anello was sentenced on Monday to three years of probation in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter Chloe Wiegand, according to The Associated Press.
This closes the book on Anello’s criminal case, but not the lawsuit the toddler’s parents filed against the Royal Caribbean cruise line. The parents blame the company, claiming it failed to create a safe environment.
Wiegand’s death was a surreal nightmare. Anello reportedly put her on a railing by a window at a children’s play area on the 11th floor of a cruise ship. He thought there was glass, and he stood the girl against it. There was nothing there except air. Chloe fell to her death.
Anello pleaded guilty in Oct. 2020 to negligent homicide in Puerto Rico, saying he wanted to move on from this “nightmare for my family.”
“I didn’t realize there wasn’t any glass until absolutely it was too late. I saw her fall. I saw her fall the whole way down. It was disbelief,” he said in a tearful Nov. 2019 interview with CBS This Morning. “It seems like it’s so … not… real.”
When it was mentioned that the windows were tinted, he said that he was colorblind and that he was told this might have been a reason why he did not notice the window was open.
Salvatore “Sam” Anello, of Valparaiso, was aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship with family in July 2019 when the death occurred. https://t.co/iW6dR3GMKv
— ABC21 WPTA News (@ABC21WPTA) February 8, 2021
Royal Caribbean has said it was “deeply saddened” by what happened.
“We have assisted the authorities in San Juan with their inquiries, and they are the appropriate people to address further questions,” they said in a statement at the time. They are fighting the lawsuit.
“We obviously blame them for not having a safer situation on the 11th floor of that cruise ship,” Chloe’s mother Kimberly Wiegand told TODAY in a July 2019 report. “There are a million things that could’ve been done to make that safer. I know my mom was asking people, ‘Why on earth is there a window open on the 11th floor without a screen or anything?’”
Matt Naham contributed to this report.
[Screengrab via CBS This Morning]
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