Indiana grandfather charged in Puerto Rico cruise ship death

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Michael Winkleman.

A man who police say dropped his young granddaughter from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico in July has been accused of negligent homicide. But his attorney says the decision to charge the Indiana man is “pouring salt” on the family’s wounds.

A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of Salvatore Anello after prosecutors submitted evidence and said the 18-month-old girl fell when he raised her up to an open window.

An attorney for the family has said Chloe Wiegand asked her grandfather to lift her up so she could bang on the glass in a children’s play area. He blamed the cruise ship company for leaving the window inexplicably open.

The family is from Indiana and was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.

Anello is being held on $80,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 20.

The family’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said in a statement that the girl’s death “was a tragic accident” and that “these criminal charges are pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family.”

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