Great Britain

Video of gut-wrenching moment grandad dropped toddler to her death from cruise ship window could save him from prison


FOOTAGE of the moment a grandad dropped his toddler granddaughter from a cruise ship window could determine his fate, lawyers say.

Grandad Salvatore Anello's attorney says the video supports his client's statement that he believed the window was closed before the 18-month-old plunged to her death.

Little Chloe Wiegand fell 150ft from the 11th story window near a children's play area after being lifted onto a railing by her grandad in July.

The toddler and her family traveled from South Bend, Indiana to Puerto Rico for the cruise vacation through the Caribbean.

"What I saw with the video, it's pretty consistent with what my client has told me," said Anello's lawyer José Pérez Ortiz told the Indianapolis Star.

"My client thought that the window was closed. Nothing in the video is inconsistent."

Anello faced a negligent homicide charge in a Puerto Rican courtroom on Wednesday.

The devastated grandfather said the pain of losing Chloe is worse than the six-year prison sentence he could potentially face over her death.

"They can't do anything worse to me than has already happened," he told NBC News.

Chloe was being held by her granddad near an open window before she tragically slipped and fell from the window of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship on July 7.

Alan and Kimberly Schulz Wiegand were so distraught over their daughter's death that passengers said they heard them wailing in agony.

"A cry of pain of that nature does not compare with any other cry," one passenger told Telemundo PR.

Anello and other family members were reportedly so hysterical over Chloe's death that they had to be sedated by medics.

The Wiegands have remained supportive of Anello and instead placed the blame on The Royal Caribbean cruise line for not properly securing the glass pane.

Anello is scheduled to return to court on December 17.

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