Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, the 24-year-old man who was “looking for someone to kill” when he threw a five-year-old boy from a balcony at the Mall of America, entered a guilty plea Tuesday that will send him to prison for 19 years.
Aranda’s mother, Becky Aranda, however, told reporters outside the courtroom that her son doesn’t belong in jail and that he “needs mental help.”
“He don’t belong in jail. He needs mental help. That’s what he needs. He don’t need to be in jail. He’s really sick,” she said.
Aranda’s mom Becky Aranda said her son has mental health issues and should not be in jail, but he refused to see family to challenge case pic.twitter.com/klKpgHZ57i
— Chao Xiong (@ChaoStrib) May 14, 2019
Mrs. Aranda also revealed that her son showed up at his sister’s house three nights before the incident and shoved her.
“When she called me after midnight, she told me that he had shoved her, which is something he had never done before. She immediately called the police and explained to the police about his mental situation and that they needed to locate him immediately before he did something else drastic to somebody else,” she said Tuesday.
“They never located him. Three days later, we read on the news that he had threw this little boy over the balcony,” she added, and noted that her son hasn’t wanted to visit with his family since being in jail. She also said that she’s trying to access medical records from Chicago related to his mental condition, but he has so far refused to sign consent forms for the records to be released.
The Star Tribune reports that Aranda will spend 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder. During Tuesday’s court proceeding, Aranda responded affirmatively when he was asked if he threw the boy from the balcony “with the intent of killing” him.
“You didn’t just drop him, but you threw him over the railing, correct?” Hennepin County Attorney Cheri Townsend asked Aranda, who agreed with her description of the events.
As previously reported, the criminal complaint in the case stated that Aranda was “looking for someone to kill” and said he “planned to kill an adult, because they usually stand near the balcony, but he chose the victim instead.”
The complaint also revealed that Aranda had been visiting the Mall of America for years and “had made efforts to talk to women in the Mall, but had been rejected, and the rejection caused him to lash out and to be aggressive.”
The family of the five-year-old boy, whose name is Landen, released a statement Tuesday afternoon via a GoFundMe page that was started for them.
“As hearings begin this week, the family would like to inform media that they will not be providing commentary on any court proceedings. The child continues to heal and the family asks for continued prayers and privacy,” the statement read.
Landen is still hospitalized, but is alert and no longer in critical condition. His family said they hope he will be released by June.
– – –