Salvatore “Sam” Anello, a grandfather from Valparaiso, Indiana, is facing charges of negligent homicide and may spend up to three years behind bars if the court rules him to be guilty after he dropped his infant granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, and she fell 150 feet before hitting the concrete ground.
Video footage of the July 7 tragedy shows the moment when Anello dropped the child. The unfortunate incident occurred during the summer when Mr. Anello was with his granddaughter on a Royal Caribbean ship that was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Anello wanted to lift Chloe for her to see through the window, which was open at the time — and he did not notice this due to being colorblind.
After he held the girl for a moment, he dropped her from his hands and unbelievingly stared as the little toddler fell.
Following what happened, Anello appeared for a court hearing, where he was offered a plea deal from the Puerto Rican prosecutors.
If he agrees, he would not have to serve time in prison and would get away only with minimum probation and4 supervision in exchange for confessing his guilt.
However, one of the defendant’s lawyers stated the plea deal was not enough because his client was innocent and should not receive any punishment.
Attorney Jose Perez explained: “It’s firm that he is innocent and he does not want to plea.”
Anello’s defense also claimed that their goal is to get a trial by jury, and for the moment their strategy involves presenting his medical records to the court to prove his colorblindness was the reason he did not see that the window was open.
The grandfather, an IT worker, told CBS This Morning in late November: “I am color blind, so that’s something that … I don’t know. I just never saw it. I’ve been told that’s a reason it may have happened. Chloe being gone is the worst thing ever, so I’m like whatever.”
He continued with: “You know. I don’t know… there’s nothing worse that they could do to me than what’s already happened… Whether they find me guilty or not, it’s inconsequential.”
Jonathon Fishman, a Royal Caribbean spokesman, explained: “Our hearts go out to the family for their tragic loss. Mr. Salvatore Anello is currently being criminally prosecuted for negligent homicide in the case.”
People who support the family still blame the cruise line for the way things played out.
The next court hearing for Anello’s case is scheduled for January 27, 2020.