Grandfather could get plea deal in toddler’s cruise ship death

FILE - This May 11, 2006 file photo shows the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship docked in Bayonne, N.J. An Indiana man charged with negligent homicide in his granddaughter's fatal plunge from a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico insists that he didn't realize an 11th-floor window was open before the 18-month-old fell to her death in July.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The grandfather charged in the death of a toddler who fell to her death through an open window of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in July has been offered a plea deal, according to the man’s attorney.

»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Parents of girl who fell to her death on ship sue Royal Caribbean Cruises

Salvatore Anello, 51, is charged with negligent homicide in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand.

Chloe Wiegand was 18 months old when she fell through an open window aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in July. The girl's grandfather, Salvatore Anello, has been charged with negligent homicide in her death.

Anello adamantly maintains his innocence and does not want a deal with prosecutors but has not ruled it out, according to Jose Perez, the defense attorney in the case.

»FROM NOVEMBER: Grandfather charged in cruise ship death appears in court

Anello appeared in a Puerto Rico court Tuesday for a hearing to decide if he wants a trial by jury or judge.

Perez, in an interview with CBS News, said no official deal was yet on the table for Anello.

Perez told CBS the agreement would require Anello to plead guilty to negligent homicide. In exchange, he would get no jail time and minimum probation and supervision, CBS reported.

“It's firm that he is innocent and he does not want to plea," Perez said but added that Anello is considering the deal.

Salvatore Anello is considering a plea deal.

Credit: Telemundo Puerto Rico

Credit: Telemundo Puerto Rico

A week ago, Chloe's parents filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises, blaming the company for the accident.

Chloe plummeted more than 150 feet on the Freedom of the Seas cruise liner while it was docked in San Juan on July 7.

»FROM JULY: Cruise ship fall: Grandfather thought glass was behind railing where toddler fell

Anello said he placed the girl on a rail so she could bang on the glass like she would at her brother's ice hockey games. He said she then slipped from his arms and fell through the open window that he mistakenly thought was closed.

Anello is expected back in court next month.

In Other News