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Grandfather pleads guilty in death of toddler who fell from cruise ship in Puerto Rico

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Attorney Michael Winkleman, who has been retained by the Wiegand family following the death of their toddler, Chloe on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, said the tragic accident could have been preventable.

The grandfather charged in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter who fell from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last year pleaded guilty, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice announced Thursday.

(CNN)The grandfather charged in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter who fell from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship last year pleaded guilty, the Puerto Rico Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Salvatore "Sam" Anello was playing with his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, on July 2019 near an open window on the 11th floor while the ship was docked in Puerto Rico.

CNN has reached out to Anello's attorney for comment.

Earlier this year, an attorney representing Chloe's family, but who does not represent Anello in his criminal case, said Anello was planning to change his plea to guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Judge Gisela Alfonso Fernandez accepted Anello's guilty plea, according to the Puerto Rico Department of Justice.

Port Authority officials said Anello sat the girl in the window and lost his balance, and the girl fell to her death.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed against the ship's operator, Royal Caribbean Cruises, on behalf of the family, says Anello was supervising Chloe when she wandered to a floor-to-ceiling wall of windows.

She asked to be lifted up to bang on the glass, the suit said, so Anello held her up and she leaned forward.

Anello told CBS News last year that he wouldn't have placed the toddler near the window if he had known it was open.

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