Family offers forgiveness in mall balcony toss


(KARE)  The man who pleaded guilty to throwing a 5-year-old boy off a third-story balcony at the Mall of America was sentenced to 19 years in prison Monday. 

Emmanuel Aranda stood in court listening to victim impact statements being read by a prosecutor, tears welling in his eyes. Of that 19-year sentence, Minnesota law mandates that he serve 12 of them, with 53 days off for time served. 

When given the opportunity to make a statement or apologize to the family of his victim, Aranda said nothing. 

The parents of the young victim, identified only as Landen, chose not to attend the sentencing. Deputy County Attorney Cheri Townsend instead read a statement from Landen’s father.

You intended evil that day, but God wants all for good. Landen, who was a nameless child to you, is not a name forgotten or unknown to God, the boy’s father wrote. Your act was evil and selfish. You chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day. You chose evil over good, and chose to take your hate and hurt out on my precious boy. You will take nothing more from us … you will not define our lives or our hearts.

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