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Salvatore Anello Sentenced To Probation In Death Of Granddaughter Chloe Wiegand, Who Fell From Cruise Ship Window

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Indiana grandfather who dropped his 18-month-old granddaughter from a cruise ship window to her death will not be going to jail.

Salvatore Anello pleaded guilty in Puerto Rico to negligent homicide in the death of Chloe Wiegand. Puerto Rican authorities had charged him with negligent homicide.

Salvatore Anello
Salvatore Anello is charged with negligence homicide in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter, who fell from a cruise ship. (Credit: Policia de Puerto Rico)

On July 7, 2019, Anello was on vacation with his family on board Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas cruise ship, when he dropped Chloe out of a window while the ship was docked at San Juan.

Anello and his attorneys have said he didn't know the window was open when he lifted Chloe up so she could bang on the glass in a children's play area, much like she used to do at her brother's hockey games.

"At the moment the accident happened, it was as if this wall of protective glass disappeared," Anello said in a statement a year ago. "I was in complete disbelief ... I wasn't drinking and I wasn't dangling her out of a window. I just wanted to knock on the glass with her as we did together so many times before ... I was placed in charge of keeping my beautiful granddaughter safe and I failed."

Anello's attorneys blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window inexplicably open with no glass.

"He thought it was all glass," Attorney Michael Winkelman said in July 2019. "There's a wood railing right there. He puts her up on there, thinks she's going to bang on the glass and it's going to be great. She goes to bang on the glass and the next thing you know, she's gone."

However, the cruise ship line said surveillance video proves Anello knew the window was open before Chloe fell to her death.

On Monday, the Puerto Rican government sentenced Anello to three years' probation. It may be served in Michigan where he now lives.

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