Parents decry actions of man who threw boy from Mall of America balcony

This undated photo provided by the Bloomington, Minn., Police Department, shows Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, who was arrested in connection with an incident at the Mall of America where a 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday. AP photo

"You chose to think about yourself that day, what you were feeling and wanted to do to someone else," Landen's mother said in a separate statement read by the prosecutor. "I'm sad you chose anger and hatred."

Posted: Jun 3, 2019 9:56 AM
Updated: Jun 3, 2019 12:57 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of a 5-year-old Minnesota boy who survived being thrown from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America decried the assailant's actions as "evil" while saying they forgive him at a hearing Monday where a judge handed down a 19-year prison sentence.

Emmanuel Aranda showed little emotion during his hearing. When Hennepin County District Judge Jeannice Reding asked whether Aranda wanted to say anything on his own behalf, the 24-year-old Minneapolis man responded with a simple, "No." Reding then sentenced him to the term he agreed to when he pleaded guilty last month to attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the April 12 attack.

Aranda told investigators he went to the mall "looking for someone to kill." According to the complaint, he had tried unsuccessfully to talk to women in the mall but their rejection "caused him to lash out and be aggressive." He said had planned to kill an adult before choosing the child instead.

The boy, identified in court only as Landen, plunged almost 40 feet (12 meters) and needed multiple surgeries for head trauma and broken bones. No update on his recovery was provided in court Monday, though his parents described it as miraculous.

"Your act was evil and selfish, you chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day," the boy's father said in a statement read by prosecutor Cheri Ann Townsend. "You chose evil over good and chose to take your hate and hurt out on my precious boy. That is where your impact on us stops, you will take nothing more from us."

Both parents, whose statements were full of references to their Christian faith, said they forgave Aranda because they believe God expects them to.

"You chose to think about yourself that day, what you were feeling and wanted to do to someone else," Landen's mother said in a separate statement read by the prosecutor. "I'm sad you chose anger and hatred."

Aranda's attorney, Paul Sellers, did not raise a mental illness defense. Aranda did acknowledge in response to a question from the judge that he had been in mental health court previously and completed required treatment. They did not go into details.

Aranda's mother, Becky Aranda, and family friend Jessica Harris told reporters afterward that he had been in and out of mental health treatment while growing up in Chicago, with frequently changing diagnoses, including attention deficit disorder, depression, autism and schizophrenia. They said that as far as they know, he was homeless before the attack. They said his comprehension level is more like a 5-year-old child's than an adult's.

Becky Aranda said her son belongs in a mental hospital, not prison. She said she last saw him in November and had been rebuffed in her efforts to visit him in jail.

"We're trying to figure out what happened, what led him to do this," she said. "We need answers as much as everybody else."

Mary Moriarty, the chief public defender for Hennepin County, said afterward that her office must honor its duty of confidentiality to its clients. She indicated defense attorneys were following Emmanuel Aranda's wishes in resolving the case quickly.

"One of our jobs, one of our goals as public defenders is to build a trusting relationship with the client and to try to achieve what the client's goals are," she said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22947

Reported Deaths: 977
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin7695581
Ramsey2698110
Stearns199512
Nobles14963
Anoka128963
Dakota120249
Olmsted58210
Washington57630
Kandiyohi4761
Rice4232
Clay41625
Scott3832
Todd2960
Wright2801
Mower2311
Sherburne2222
Carver1892
Benton1733
Steele1490
Blue Earth1261
Martin1265
St. Louis11714
Freeborn1020
Unassigned9410
Pine890
Nicollet827
Winona7815
Carlton730
Cottonwood690
Watonwan640
Otter Tail630
Goodhue603
Polk592
Crow Wing591
Chisago541
Itasca548
Dodge460
Le Sueur441
Meeker440
Chippewa441
Morrison410
Jackson390
Douglas390
Lyon380
Murray360
Becker360
Isanti320
McLeod300
Waseca250
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Wabasha170
Fillmore171
Pennington170
Swift170
Sibley150
Beltrami140
Brown142
Cass132
Faribault130
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Pipestone100
Marshall90
Wadena80
Pope80
Aitkin70
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Big Stone40
Red Lake40
Redwood40
Clearwater30
Traverse30
Lac qui Parle30
Grant30
Houston20
Roseau20
Hubbard10
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 18559

Reported Deaths: 506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3930118
Woodbury267232
Black Hawk172443
Linn94176
Marshall88215
Dallas87517
Buena Vista7020
Johnson6078
Muscatine54941
Wapello5456
Crawford4892
Tama40026
Scott35210
Louisa34210
Dubuque33418
Jasper25816
Pottawattamie2348
Sioux2130
Washington1858
Wright1450
Allamakee1204
Plymouth1191
Warren1160
Story991
Mahaska918
Poweshiek898
Bremer676
Henry671
Clinton601
Des Moines591
Boone570
Taylor490
Guthrie463
Cedar461
Clarke450
Benton391
Monroe385
Jones360
Iowa350
Shelby340
Clayton323
Osceola320
Buchanan320
Webster321
Marion310
Hamilton290
Madison271
Fayette260
Cerro Gordo251
Monona240
Cherokee240
Lee240
Winneshiek230
Davis200
Grundy190
Lyon190
Jefferson190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Sac170
Dickinson160
Mills160
Hardin160
Hancock160
Humboldt150
Butler150
Delaware150
Appanoose143
Ida140
Keokuk140
Greene130
Clay130
Howard120
Audubon121
Emmet120
Lucas120
Cass110
Jackson110
Page110
Winnebago110
Franklin100
Pocahontas100
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Kossuth90
Chickasaw80
Adair80
Union70
Adams70
Montgomery60
Mitchell50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned10
Rochester
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Mason City
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 60°
Albert Lea
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 63°
Austin
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 61°
Lingering showers Thursday AM will turn to sunshine by the afternoon
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean Weather 5/28 2

Image

Churches prepare to allow hundreds in doors

Image

Sean Weather 5/28

Image

Destination Medical Center boosting Rochester Recovery

Image

Protests at Henneppin County Government Center

Image

Rochester reacts to Minneapolis situation

Image

Unemployment numbers in Rochester

Image

DMC's five year plan and COVID-19

Image

Salvation Army Needs Hygiene Products

Image

Giving Back To Essential Workers

Community Events