The man who threw a 5-year-old boy over a balcony at the Mall of America, hurtling him 40 feet down to the ground below, has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, looked straight ahead or downward during Monday's hearing, where he was sentenced after pleading guilty last month to first-degree attempted murder. He did not address the court when the judge gave him the chance.
In April, little Landen Hoffmann was standing outside of a restaurant with his mom at the Mall of America when Aranda picked him up and tossed him over the balcony. Landen landed on a stone floor, sustaining several injuries.
Aranda later told police he was “looking for someone to kill” after he’d been rejected by multiple women over the years at the mall.
Police said Aranda told them he planned to kill an adult because they usually stand near the balcony, but that did not work out, so he chose the young boy instead.
Landen's parents did not attend the hearing, but their statements were read in court by the prosecutor.
"Your act was evil and selfish. You chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day," the father's statement read. "That is where your impact on us stops. You will take nothing more from us."
His mother's statement added: "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."
Landen has been making progress in his recovery. He did not show any signs of brain damage when he first entered the hospital. He is now doing better, but his family said on their GoFundMe page that Landen recently experience non-life threatening complications complications from his injuries.
Aranda's mother had said that her son struggled with mental illness and that family members worried something like what happened to Landen might happen. Though Becky Aranda said he has "had a condition since he was a little boy," she said she never expected things to go as far as they did.