Skip to main content
Publish date:

Man pleads guilty to throwing boy over Mall of America balcony

Emmanuel Aranda pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Author:
Emmanuel Aranda

The man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy over a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America has pleaded guilty.

Emmanuel DeShawn Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty to first-degree premeditated attempted murder at a hearing on Tuesday.

As part of his plea, Aranda accepted that throwing the child over the third-floor balcony – a drop of approximately 40 feet – could kill him.

He has agreed to serve 19 years in prison, with prosecutors dropping its attempt for an aggravated sentence in return.

The boy, known only as Landen, suffered serious injuries in the incident on Apr. 12, and was taken to the ICU at Children's Hospital Minneapolis.

A GoFundMe campaign for his family has so far raised more than $1 million.

The latest update from the family came on Monday, when they said they would not be commenting on the court hearing as the child continues to heal.

KARE 11's Lou Raguse notes that the plea from Aranda came as a surprise during what was only expected to be a procedural hearing.

Aranda had previously told police he had gone to the MOA that day with the specific intention of killing someone, though had planned to throw an adult as they usually stand closer to the balcony.

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

The boy's mother told police she had been outside the Rainforest Cafe with her son, a friend and her friend's child when Aranda approached, and "came very close to them."

The mother asked if they were in the way and should move when "without warning," Aranda picked the boy up and threw him from the balcony.

Speaking to police, Aranda said that he had been coming to the mall for several years in an effort to talk to women, "but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and be aggressive."

He had gone to the mall the previous day, Thursday, Apr. 11, to kill someone, but said it "didn't work out."

Aranda will be officially sentenced on June 3.

Next Up

Brian O'Neill

Matthew Coller: What if the Vikings didn't have Detroit?

The Lions have been like two freebies on the Vikings' schedule the past three seasons.

water drain

MN will get $116M for water projects as part of infrastructure package

Nationwide, $7.4 billion will be distributed for projects next year.

covid

3rd teenage death from COVID-19 reported in Minnesota

All three of the teenage deaths have occurred in the past three months.

crowne plaza hotel minneapolis mn

Former downtown Minneapolis Crowne Plaza to become boutique hotel

The hotel closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened.

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, December 3

The latest from the health department. The next update comes Monday.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man who threatened suicide by cop detained, hospitalized

Officers responded to the incident at around 1:40 a.m. Friday.

northbound remodel facebook

Northbound brewpub reopens with new look, revamped menu

It had been closed since October for the big remodel.

Snow, Hanley Falls

Latest storm track, snow forecast for weekend winter storm

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch.

gianni's wayzata heated patio

These Twin Cities restaurants have heated patios for outdoor winter dining

From bonfires to igloos, Twin Cities restaurants have you covered as temperatures drop.

Related

MOA boy remains critical as his alleged attacker appears in court

Emmanuel Aranda is being held on a $2 million bail.

Family of boy thrown from MOA balcony reveals extent of his injuries

The 5-year-old remains in intensive care following the April attack.

MOA boy recovering after undergoing more procedures

The 5-year-old is still recuperating from the injuries inflicted

Boy attacked at Mall of America is now 'alert and conscious'

The latest family statement is a hugely positive one.

Flickr - Mall of America 2018 - Ken Lund

Family of child thrown from balcony in 2019 files lawsuit against Mall of America

The boy suffered serious injuries that have required ongoing care.

Mall of America

Boy thrown from MOA balcony is out of intensive care

The 5-year-old has been in a critical condition since the April incident.