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.
Aranda said he knew throwing the child over the balcony could kill him, according to a KSTP crew at the hearing.
BREAKING— Alex Jokich (@AlexJokichTV) May 14, 2019
Emmanuel Aranda pleads guilty to attempted murder in the Mall of America attack on a 5 year old boy
Said he knew throwing the child over a 3rd floor balcony could kill him@KSTP
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.
BREAKING- Suspect who threw child off balcony at Mall of America pleads guilty to attempted pre-meditated murder in the 1st degree. 228 month plea for Emmanuel Aranda @KSTP— Brett Hoffland (@BrettHoffland) May 14, 2019
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.
Aranda has been in custody on $2 million bail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Updated: May 14, 2019 10:49 AM
Created: May 14, 2019 05:41 AM
Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company