Sam Anello Wiki
The grandfather accused of dropping toddler Chloe Weigand from the 11th deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship made his first court appearance on Wednesday as Puerto Rican prosecutors insisted it was their ‘duty’ to charge him with negligent homicide.
Salvatore ‘Sam’ Anello faces three years in prison if he’s found guilty of causing Chloe’s death by lifting her towards an open window before she tumbled from the Freedom of the Seas while it docked in San Juan on July 7.
The elderly IT worker from Valparaiso, Indiana, cut a sad, isolated figure as he arrived at San Juan Superior Court, shuffling silently through a throng of reporters.
Sam Anello faces up to three years in prison in connection with with death of his 1-year-old granddaughter, who fell from a cruise ship in July. https://t.co/WXlR4VVwUW
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) November 21, 2019
Wearing a pinstripe black suit and checkered tie, he sat alone in the wooden benches with a court-appointed translator who relayed the Spanish language proceedings to him in English.
Sam Anello in Court
Sam Anello was in court in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday when he spoke briefly about the case off-camera with Kerry Sanders of NBC News.
“They can’t do anything worse to me than has already happened,” Anello said.
Sam Anello Arrested
Anello was arrested and charged last month in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand. She fell out of an 11th-story window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in San Juan on July 7 after Anello placed her near an open window he thought was closed.
Anello’s attorneys told Sanders that her death was a horrible accident, but not a crime.
Puerto Rican authorities allege that Anello negligently exposed his granddaughter to the window, causing her to fall 115 feet to her death.
Sam Anello security video
Security video of the incident from the ship remains unreleased but is believed to have compelled the charges.
Chloe’s parents, Kimberly and Alan Wiegand, defended Anello in an interview with Savannah Guthrie on TODAY in July.
“He was extremely hysterical,” Kimberly said. “The thing that he has repeatedly told us is, ‘I believed that there was glass.’ He will cry over and over and over. At no point ever, ever has Sam ever put our kids in danger.
“(He’s) very, very distraught. You can barely look at him without him crying. She was his best friend.”
Fast Facts You Must Need To Know
- Salvatore ‘Sam’ Anello faces three years in prison if he’s found guilty of negligent homicide in the death of his granddaughter Chloe Weigand
- The elderly IT worker arrived at court in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, wearing a pinstripe black suit and checkered tie and declined to comment
- Anello is accused of lifting Chloe towards an open window before she tumbled 150ft to her death on to a concrete dock on July 7
- Chloe’s parents Alan and Kimberly Weigand did not accompany Anello to court but they have been steadfast in their support for the maternal grandfather
- The family blames Royal Caribbean for ‘inexplicably’ leaving a window open in a family play area, as Anello was unaware the clear pane had been slid open
- Negligent homicide is a misdemeanor under the Puerto Rican penal code however it is punishable by a minimum of three years in prison