man who reportedly told investigators that he went to the Mall of America “looking for someone to kill” pleaded guilty Tuesday to throwing a 5-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony and faces 19 years in prison.
Emmanuel Aranda had been scheduled for a routine pre-trial hearing in Hennepin County Court when the plea bargain was announced. Sentencing is June 3.
Aranda was arrested moments after the attack as he waited to board a light-rail train at the mall, and police say he had quickly admitted to it.
A criminal complaint filed soon after the attack said Aranda told police he was angry at being rejected by women at the mall and was “looking for someone to kill” when he went there that day.
He had two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, and had been banned from the property at one point. Court records showed that Aranda had been ordered to undergo psychological evaluation or treatment after those assaults, and his attorney Paul Sellers said Aranda had been in mental health court.
Aranda, wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, spoke quietly during Tuesday’s hearing while giving yes-or-no answers to questions aimed at making sure he understood what he was admitting.
The child plunged almost 40 feet and suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones. His family released a statement in late April saying he was alert and no longer in critical condition. On Monday, the family said he continues to heal.