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Grandfather charged in toddler's cruise ship death: 'They can't do anything worse to me'

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.
/ Source: TODAY

A grandfather charged with negligent homicide for his granddaughter's death on a cruise ship last summer could face three years in prison, but he feels that penalty will never be as painful as losing her.

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.

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.

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."