The man who heartlessly threw a 5-year-old boy off of a balcony at a Mall of America has been officially sentenced to 19 years in prison for his crime.
According to investigators, Emmanuel Aranda went to the mall on the day he committed the horrific crime “looking for someone to kill.”
Here’s the breaking news that hit Twitter:
BBC has more details on the sentencing of Aranda:
A US man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to throwing a five-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, told police he went to Minnesota's Mall of America "looking for someone to kill", before choosing the boy, identified as Landen.
In a statement read in court on Monday, Landen's parents decried Aranda's act as one "intended to kill and destroy".
Landen survived the almost 40ft (12m) fall, but required multiple surgeries.
His parents described his recovery from head trauma and broken bones sustained in the 12 April attack as "miraculous". No further update on his condition was provided.
"I wish you could experience the pain and suffering you inflicted on my boy," Landen's parents said in a statement read by prosecutor Cheri Townsend on Monday.
"You should have the maximum punishment that this life has for you so you understand the impact of your actions."
Aranda pleaded guilty in May to one count of attempted premeditated murder as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Despite Aranda's lawyers not raising a mental illness defense at the trial, Aranda's mother told media that her son was mentally ill and thinks that he "didn't intend" to commit the shocking crime.
Watch the video of what she had to say in reaction to the sentence here:
The Washington Examiner had the following to say about the family of the criminal's response to his sentence:
Aranda’s attorney, Paul Sellers, did not raise a mental illness defense. Aranda did acknowledge in response to a question from the judge that he had been in mental health court previously and completed required treatment. They did not go into details.
Aranda’s mother, Becky Aranda, and family friend Jessica Harris told reporters afterward that he had been in and out of mental health treatment while growing up in Chicago, with frequently changing diagnoses, including attention deficit disorder, depression, autism and schizophrenia. They said that as far as they know, he was homeless before the attack. They said his comprehension level is more like a 5-year-old child’s than an adult’s.
Becky Aranda said her son belongs in a mental hospital, not prison. She said she last saw him in November and had been rebuffed in her efforts to visit him in jail.
“We’re trying to figure out what happened, what led him to do this,” she said. “We need answers as much as everybody else.”
Mary Moriarty, the chief public defender for Hennepin County, said afterward that her office must honor its duty of confidentiality to its clients. She indicated defense attorneys were following Emmanuel Aranda’s wishes in resolving the case quickly.
“One of our jobs, one of our goals as public defenders is to build a trusting relationship with the client and to try to achieve what the client’s goals are,” she said.
Mentally ill or not, I'm glad that crazy, evil man will be locked away.
If anything, 19 years may be too light a sentence!
What do you think?