"Justice for Chloe": Unbearable choice for grandfather accused of cruise ship fatal fall

"Justice for Chloe": Unbearable choice for grandfather accused of cruise ship fatal fall

A grandfather accused in the fatal fall of his granddaughter Chloe from an 11th storey window of a cruise ship pleaded guilty on Thursday to negligent homicide.

Salvatore "Sam" Anello said that he wanted to help end "this nightmare" for his family.

His 18-month-old granddaughter Chloe slipped from his grip and fell 46 metres from an open window on a Royal Caribbean Cruises' Freedom of the Seas ship in July 2019 as the ship docked in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico prosecutor Laura Hernandez said Anello would be sentenced on December 10th.

“We have found justice for Chloe,” she said.

A representative for Anello’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said in a statement to America’s NBC TODAY that Anello will not serve any jail time and will serve his probation in Indiana.

“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 by raising awareness about the need for all common carriers to adhere to window fall prevention laws designed to protect children from falling from windows,” Winkleman said in a statement.

Winkleman also added that the family would continue its civil suit against Royal Caribbean with the goal of discovering why the window was allowed to be open.

Anello, 51, said that he did not know that the window in the children's play area was open.

“I wasn’t drinking and I wasn’t dangling her out of a window,” he said in a previous statement. He said he is colourblind and might not have realized the tinted window was open.

“We will continue the fight for justice for Chloe and to hold Royal Caribbean accountable for its brazen failure to follow the standards designed precisely to prevent children from falling out of windows,” Winkleman said in his statement.