Chloe Wiegand‘s grandfather has been offered a plea deal that involves no jail time. However, according to a report, the grandfather’s attorneys are still deciding whether or not to accept it.
Chloe Wiegand was just 18 months old when she was vacationing on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship with her family on July 7. While in the kids’ play area with her parents and grandparents, Wiegand’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, held his granddaughter up to a wall of windows so that she could see outside.
Chloe Wiegand’s Grandfather Offered a Plea Deal
However, what Anello claims he didn’t know was that the window he stood Wiegand in front of was opened. The family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, explained to Today:
“Essentially her grandfather lifts her up and puts her on a railing and where he thinks that there is glass there because it’s clear, but it turns out there was no glass there. She goes to bang on the glass, like she would have at one of those hockey rinks, and the next thing you know, she’s gone.”
Now, according to a Twitter video shared by CBS News reporter David Begnaud, prosecutors have offered Anello a plea deal that will require no jail time but will require him to plead guilty to negligent homicide.
The deal would also give him the minimum probation and minimum supervision. However, Begnaud also reported that Anello’s legal team has not yet decided if they will accept the plea deal or not.
“Mr. Anello has been sort of resolute throughout the entire ordeal in saying that he did not realize that the window he had dropped Chloe from was open. He thought there was glass.”
Begnaud continued that it was decided by Anello’s legal team to have him not talk to the police. “He has said all along that ‘I didn’t mean to do this.’ He doesn’t think he should be charged. His attorneys have signaled he doesn’t want to accept the plea deal.”
“However, he is not ruling out accepting a plea deal. He is essentially thinking about it as of right now.” As Begnaud reports, Anello’s team will be back in court in January when it will be decided if this particular case will go to trial, something Anello wants as of December 17.
Anello was first arrested and charged on October 28. Winkleman described the criminal charges as “pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family. Clearly this was a tragic accident and the family’s singular goal remains for something like this to never happen again…”
Reports also suggest that the video that was never supposed to be released showing the moment Wiegand fell out the window has since been leaked to the public. The family said in a statement after learning about the leak:
“The family is shocked by the deplorable and disgraceful misconduct that led to the release of this footage. The family’s sole motivation for not releasing the video was to protect their older child. That motivation has not changed. The family publicly asks the Puerto Rican authorities, why was this footage released? Why do you continue to inflict such heinous emotional distress on our family? Haven’t we been punished enough by the loss of Chloe? Finally, the family requests an immediate, independent investigation done into the circumstances surrounding the leak.”
A reason as to how the footage got leaked is unclear. However, Attorney General Dennise Longo Quiñones told CBS News that the video “confirms that Salvatore Anello is guilty of negligent homicide as charged.”
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