The man who held his little granddaughter before she fell from a cruise ship window made his first appearance in Puerto Rican court Wednesday after being charged in her death.
Salvatore Anello, dressed in a dark suit and tie, looked somber as he walked to and from the San Juan Superior Court. He spoke to NBC outside the courthouse about dealing with the aftermath of Chloe Wiegand's death.
"They can't do anything worse to me than has already happened,'' Anello said.
Chloe, who was 17 months old at the time, was with her family on the Royal Caribbean ship Freedom of the Seas, which was docked in Puerto Rico in July.
She was in a play area with Anello when she fell out of a window. Anello said he thought the window was glass. But it was open, and when Chloe went to bang on it, she fell.
Michael Winkelman at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman P.A. is the attorney for the family. He said this was a tragic accident and the charge against Anello is like “pouring salt on the open wounds” of the grieving family.
Anello blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window open in a children's play area, but Puerto Rican prosecutors claim that Anello “negligently exposed the girl through one of the windows," WBST reported.
“Her grandfather thought there was glass just like everywhere else, but there was not, and she was gone in an instant,” Winkleman previously said in a statement.
At the time of the incident, Chloe’s parents refused to give statements, saying they were not present during the incident, but have since said they do not blame Anello for what happened.