Man pleads guilty in mall attack against child

Man pleads guilty in mall attack against child

The man accused of throwing a 5-year-old boy off the third-floor balcony at Mall of America in April pleaded guilty for attempted murder Tuesday.

Emmanuel Aranda, 24, of Minneapolis, was charged with attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the April attack on the child, who survived a almost 40-foot plunge but suffered broken bones and head trauma.

Aranda, 24, will be sentenced June 3.

Aranda took the plea in exchange for prosecutors not pursuing an aggravated circumstances component, which could have tacked another year onto his sentence.

Police arrested Aranda moments after the attack as he waited to board a light-rail train at the mall, and said he had quickly admitted to the attack.

He had two previous convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, and had been banned from the property at one point.

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Aranda is due in court Tuesday for an omnibus hearing.

Aranda's family told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Aranda has had violent tendencies since childhood and has struggled with mental health issues.

Aranda said he knew throwing the child over the balcony could kill him, according to a KSTP crew at the hearing.

"He is competent, clearly".

"He went into the courtroom and accepted full responsibility", Sellers said. This could mean Aranda skirts an extra year of prison.

Aranda said little in court Tuesday, speaking only to give yes-or-no answers to questions about whether he understood what he was admitting. Authorities have not released the boy's name and say his family requested privacy. On Monday, the family said he continues to heal.

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