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UPDATE: Man accused of throwing boy over Mall of America balcony pleads guilty

May 14, 2019 10:49 AM

A Minneapolis man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America in April pleaded guilty during a court hearing Tuesday.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

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Aranda said he knew throwing the child over the balcony could kill him, according to a KSTP crew at the hearing.

Authorities said Aranda told them he went to the mall on April 12 "looking for someone to kill" and chose the boy at random.

Prosecutors said if Aranda is convicted, they are seeking the maximum sentence, which would be 20 years in prison.

RELATED: Prosecutors to seek maximum sentence for suspect accused of throwing boy from MOA balcony

Aranda's family told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Aranda has had violent tendencies since childhood and has struggled with mental health issues.

Meanwhile, 5-year-old Landen's family is asking for prayers for the boy, saying he continues to recover from the 40-foot fall, having suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones.

A GoFundMe page set up for Landen has raised more than $1 million so far.

RELATED: GoFundMe for child thrown off MOA balcony reaches $1 million

Aranda has been in custody on $2 million bail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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