CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The Indiana grandfather charged in the accidental death of his 18-month-old granddaughter on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico is considering a plea deal.

Authorities in late October charged Salvatore Anello, 50, after his granddaughter, Chloe Wiegand, fell when he raised her up to an open window on July 7.

Anello was handcuffed and taken to jail in Puerto Rico. But his family has always maintained it was an accident.

Salvatore Anello

Salvatore Anello is charged with negligence homicide in the death of his 18-month-old granddaughter, who fell from a cruise ship. (Credit: Policia de Puerto Rico)

The Puerto Rico Police Bureau said in a statement in October that Chloe – who was the daughter of a South Bend police officer – landed in the void next to a pan-American dock after falling from the 11th floor of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship.

Prosecutors have offered Anello a plea deal to avoid prison, but he’d have to plead guilty.

Attorney Michael Winkelman has maintained that Royal Caribbean cruises was really to blame.

“These criminal charges are pouring salt on the open wounds of this grieving family. Clearly this was a tragic accident and the family’s singular goal remains for something like this to never happen again,” Winkelman said in a statement in late October. “Had the cruise lines simply followed proper safety guidelines for windows, this accident likely would never have happened.”

Anello’s family is suing the cruise line.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)