Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty in Mall of America Attack Against Child

Evarado Alatorre
May 15, 2019

Aranda was charged with first-degree attempted murder for the April 12 attack.

Meanwhile, 5-year-old Landen's family is asking for prayers for the boy, saying he continues to recover from the 40-foot fall, having suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones. Prosecutors agreed to drop an aggravated circumstances charge against Aranda in exchange for his guilty plea, which could have added another year to his prison term.

He admitted dropping the boy almost 40 feet (12 meters), telling investigators he had been visiting the mall for years to try to talk to women, but was rejected and became angry, prosecutors wrote in a criminal complaint.

Aranda was arrested a short time later while waiting for the light rail train at the mall.

Aranda will be sentenced June 3. Prosecutor Cheri Ann Townsend said the boy's family supports the deal.

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

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

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"He is competent, clearly".

"He went into the courtroom and accepted full responsibility", Sellers said.

Aranda spoke little in his court appearance, providing only yes and no answers when asked if he understood what he was admitting.

The child plunged about 12 metres and suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones. Authorities have not released the boy's name and say his family requested privacy.

He almost succeeded, but Hoffmann's family said two weeks after the nightmarish attack that their son was "alert and conscious" and no longer in critical condition.

In the complaint it said that Aranda was looking for an adult because he said they stand near the balcony but found a child to toss over a balcony instead.

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