The Minneapolis man who admitted to throwing a 5-year-old boy over a third-floor railing at the Mall of America this year, critically injuring him, is appealing his conviction.
Emmanuel D. Aranda, 25, filed notice last Friday that he is taking his case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. The brief filing did not say why he is appealing.
Aranda was sentenced in June to 19 years in prison for the April 12 attack. He pleaded guilty in May to one count of attempted first-degree murder.
The boy’s family said Tuesday that they would not be commenting on any legal matters.
“We are, however, pleased to share that our son completed his inpatient rehabilitation and is now home,” they said in a statement released by the communications firm Tunheim, which is representing them. “We are so thankful, and we rejoice in the Lord’s blessings to our family.”
The boy, named Landen, is from Woodbury. He suffered massive head trauma and fractures in his arms and legs.
Landen will require ongoing rehabilitation.
“We continue to ask that [God’s] healing powers guide us and our son’s care team as we enter the next phase of recovery, which includes continued outpatient rehabilitation for multiple injuries and adjusting to life back at home and school,” the family said.
The boy’s GoFundMe page, which has garnered more than $1 million in donations, noted on Aug. 1 that he had been moved from intensive care to inpatient physical rehabilitation at a different hospital.
Assistant Public Defender Amy Lawler, who is representing Aranda in the appeal, declined to comment on the case. Minnesota Chief Public Defender Bill Ward, who has oversight of the office’s appellate division, also declined to comment on the case, but said defendants have a right to appeal their guilty pleas.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
At his sentencing, Aranda offered no apology or explanation for his actions. Authorities said he went to the mall “looking for someone to kill” because he was angry that women there had rejected his attempts to talk with them.
According to the criminal complaint: Aranda said he planned to kill an adult because they usually stand near the balcony, but chose the boy instead.
The boy’s mother told police that she, her son, a friend and the friend’s child were outside the Rainforest Cafe when Aranda approached them. She said that “without warning, Defendant picked up the Victim and threw him off the third floor balcony,” the complaint said.
Aranda’s mother, Becky Aranda, has said that her son was homeless and has suffered from mental health problems since he was 3. She has expressed concern that his mental health had not been addressed in court before his plea. She could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday.
The Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office has said Aranda was mentally competent at the time of his plea and chose to plead guilty.