The Minnesota man who threw a 5-year-old boy off a 40-foot balcony at the Mall of America was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Monday.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, had pled guilty to attempted premeditated first-degree murder in May, a month after he tried to end the child’s life.
Aranda told police that on April 12, the day of the attack, he had been “looking for someone to kill” after being rejected numerous times by women at the mall. At first he wanted to kill an adult, though ultimately the victim ended up being a young child identified in his family’s statement only as Landen.
“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 statement read by the prosecutor, according to the Associated Press. “I’m sad you chose anger and hatred."
Hennepin County District Judge Jeannice Reding asked if Aranda had anything else to say in regards to the sentence; however, Aranda simply responded, “No.”
Aranda's attorney, Paul Sellers, did not raise a mental illness defense, although his family did claim he's been in and out of mental health treatment for much of his life, reports the Associated Press.
Landen is currently continuing his slow recovery at a Minneapolis hospital, no longer in critical condition, though he's suffering from serious head trauma and broken bones that required multiple surgical procedures, according to NBC News.
While the victim’s family has forgiven Aranda, making references to their Christian faith, Landen’s father still deemed his actions "evil and selfish” in a statement read before the sentencing.
“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.”
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