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Man who threw boy from Mall of America balcony sentenced to 19 years in prison

Boy Thrown from Third-Floor Balcony of Mall of America Making "Small Steps" Towards Recovery

Emmanuel Aranda, the Minneapolis man who threw a 5-year-old boy over a third-floor balcony in the Mall of America has been sentenced to 19 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder in court last month.

Related: Man accused of throwing boy from Mall of America balcony pleads guilty

KMSP reported that Aranda, 24, threw the boy, Landen Hoffman, from the balcony of the Bloomington, Minnesota, mall April 12. His 19-year prison sentence is part of his plea deal, in which he admitted his guilt.

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NBC News reported that Aranda looked straight ahead or down during most of the hearing before Hennepin County District Judge Jeannice Reding. He declined to address the court when Reding offered him the chance to do so.

Emmanuel Aranda, was sentenced to 19 years in prisonafter pleading guilty to throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at Mall of America.
Emmanuel Aranda, was sentenced to 19 years in prisonafter pleading guilty to throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony at Mall of America.

Credit: Bloomington Police Department

Credit: Bloomington Police Department

At a previous court appearance, Aranda said that he was angry after being rejected by women at the mall for years. He told authorities he went to the mall "looking for someone to kill," and chose Landen at random.

Related: Police: Man who threw 5-year-old from third floor of Mall of America intended to kill someone

Landen suffered broken arms and legs and had head trauma, but the pastor of his family's church said he had no sign of permanent damage as he continues to recover. A GoFundMe page created to help with medical costs raised more than $1 million.

The boy's mother wrote in a victim impact statement that she has forgiven Aranda because God wants her to. Her full statement, from KMSP, can be read below:

"You intended to harm him, but God intended it for good! To accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

"You chose to think about yourself that day, what you were feeling and wanted to do to someone else. I'm sad you chose anger and hatred. Something really bad must have happened to you for you to want to do this to a sweet, innocent little boy. I'm sorry for whatever you've gone through. I hope God can save you and show you what His love is all about someday.

"I want you to know I forgive you. Not because what you did was okay, not because I want to; but [because] God wants me to. I'm not letting you take any part of our family. You're not taking our love, ourjoy, our peace; you're not taking anything! I refuse to be full of anger and hatred, I refuse to let you take my joy. My sweet, precious baby, my amazing gift from God is going to be okay because Jesus loves him so much and he loves me so much. He answered my prayers and gave him back to me.

"You get to take nothing from us. You chose to listen to the Devil that day. I don't get to judge you or hate you. Instead I am full of God's love and I have overwhelming joy and peace in my body as I sit and watch my boy heal in miraculous ways right in from of my eyes.

"The whole world is seeing God move in this little boy that I get to call mine. The Devil tried to take him out, but GOD Saves. God ALWAYS wins!

"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. God, it is all in your hands."