Nearly a year and a half ago, on July 7, 2019, 1-year-old Chloe Wiegand and her family were enjoying a family vacation on a cruise ship when tragedy struck. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, her grandfather, Salvatore Anello, was the person holding Wiegand up to the window when she slipped out of his grip.
At 19-months-old, Chloe fell 11 stories to her death. And ever since that tragic accident, Anello has claimed that he didn’t know the one window they were standing at was open.
And his family, which includes Chloe’s parents, believe that as well. However, prosecutors in the case believe otherwise and claim that the cruise ship’s security footage proves that Anello knew that the window he picked Chloe up to look out of was open.
As photos would show, the wall that Chloe fell from was made completely of windows. The panel that she was looking out of was removed for ventilation purposes, Royal Caribbean would later explain.
Chloe Wiegand’s Grandfather Officially Pleads Guilty in Front of a Judge
Despite Anello have the support of Chloe’s parents, Kim and Alan Wiegand, behind him and despite Kim and Alan asking that criminal charges not be brought against him, Anello has been charged with negligent homicide. And despite maintaining his innocence for the last year and a half, Anello has since pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
In February, Anello revealed his decision to take a plea deal saying, “I took a plea deal today to try to help end part of this nightmare for my family, if possible.” On Thursday, October 15, he officially entered his guilty plea in front of a judge.
According to NBC News, the grandfather will be formally sentenced on December 10. He is not expected to serve any jail time. In a statement made by Anell’s lawyer given to People, it was revealed that his decision to take the deal was “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.”
In a recorded interview with CBS This Morning, Anello recounting the events that occurred that July day. You can watch it below:
Kim and Alan have since issued lawsuits against Royal Caribbean, blaming them for Chloe’s death. The parents, as well as Anello, have said repeatedly that “a window of that size should never have been opened on a deck where children were playing in the first place.”
“Royal Caribbean played a major role in the death of our child. There is no reason for this ship to have walls of glass surrounding the 11th floor with portions that open. We believe that filing a lawsuit against the cruise line sends a message to them that they were wrong.”Kim Wiegand, CBS This Morning
Despite Anello pleading guilty, Choe’s family will continue to fight against cruise ships in an attempt to make them safer for families and so that no other mother, father, or grandparents have to endure the type of heartache they have had to endure.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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