Man who threw boy at Mall of America sentenced to 19 years in prison
(FOX 9) - The man who pleaded guilty to throwing a young boy from the third floor at Mall of America was sentenced to 228 months, or 19 years, in prison.
Last month, Emmanuel Aranda pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder for throwing 5-year-old Landen from the third floor in an act that stunned mall-goers and made national headlines. In his last court appearance, Aranda waved his right to a trial and admitted that he tried to kill Landen on April 12. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to serve 19 years in prison.
Aranda told investigators he went to the mall looking for someone to kill and randomly targeted Landen who was there with his mom and friends. Aranda threw Landen over the third floor balcony causing him to fall nearly 40 feet to the ground floor.
Amazingly, the boy survived.
During the sentencing, in a victim's impact statement, the boy's parents wrote that they "forgive" Aranda, despite his "evil, selfish, horrific" actions.
The state also addressed Aranda's mental health, saying he knew what he was doing when he threw Landen three floors.
Aranda was offered the opportunity to say something to court about his actions, but he didn't say anything.
A few weeks ago, the boy's family said he needed additional procedures for some non-life threatening complications from his injuries. They say his spirit is strong, but he still has a long road ahead.
Full Statement from Landen's mother:
You intended to harm him, but God intended it for good! To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
You chose to think about yourself that day, what you were feeling and wanted to do to someone else. I'm sad you chose anger and hatred. Something really bad must have happened to you for you to want to do this to a sweet, innocent little boy. I'm sorry for whatever you've gone through. I hope God can save you and show you what His love is all about someday….
I want you to know I forgive you. Not because what you did was okay, not because I want to; but [because] God wants me to. I'm not letting you take any part of our family. You're not taking our love , our joy , our peace ; you're not taking anything! I refuse to be full of anger and hatred, I refuse to let you take my joy. My sweet, precious baby, my amazing gift from God is going to be okay because Jesus loves him so much and he loves me so much. He answered my prayers and gave him back to me.
You get to take nothing from us. You chose to listen to the Devil that day. I don't get to judge you or hate you. Instead I am full of God's love and I have overwhelming joy and peace in my body as I sit and watch my boy heal in miraculous ways right in from of my eyes.
The whole world is seeing God move in this little boy that I get to call mine. The Devil tried to take him out, but DOG Saves. God ALWAYS wins!
God will judge you someday and I have peace with that. I hand it off to him and you will take none of my thoughts EVER again, I am done with you. God, it is all in your hands.