A heartrending year-long case in which an 18-month-old baby girl dropped to her death from the 11th floor of a Royal Caribbean ship has ended with her grandfather admitting negligent homicide.
Chloe Wiegand fell from the Freedom of the Seas in July, last year, sparking a fierce debate over safety.
Her grandfather and parents claimed Royal Caribbean was to blame for failing to secure the window aboard the ship, which was docked in Puerto Rico.
But Salvatore Anello said he pleaded guilty to stop the “nightmare” involving his family. A civil case is still ongoing.
Chloe slipped out of a 45m opening on the ship. CCTV footage allegedly showed her grandfather leaning out of the window and holding her outside the vessel.
Anello’s lawyer said: “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.”
Anello, 51, has always claimed he didn’t know the tinted window was open when he lifted. He said he is colour blind and might not have realised the tinted window was open. He will be sentenced on December 10.
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