from our partnerFaithwire
written byWill Maule
The man who flung a small child off a third-floor railing at a Mall of America in Minnesota has been sentenced to 19 years in prison.
Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, 24, stood emotionless as he was sentenced, after pleading guilty to first-degree attempted murder in relation to the vicious April 12 attack which left 5-year-old Landen Hoffman gravely injured.
Statements from the boy’s parents were read out during proceedings, with Aranda declining to address the court.
“Your act was evil and selfish. You chose to listen to the worst parts of yourself that day,” the father expressed in his statement, according to NBC News. “That is where your impact on us stops. You will take nothing more from us.”
The parents have consistently talked about how their faith has informed their response to the nightmarish situation. In their court statements, it was no different.
“God will judge you someday and I have peace with that,” the mother stated. “I hand it off to Him and you will take none of my thoughts ever again. I am done with you.”
Aranda’s family insist that he suffers with mental illness. “This is very sad for us. I’m sad also for the family,” the attacker’s mother said after the sentencing. “I’m glad that she has forgiven my son,” she added. “That is a burden that has lifted off our shoulders.”
Though the youngster has been making remarkable progress, the family recently noted that he had experienced “non-life threatening complications from his injuries which have required additional procedures to correct.”
A GoFundMe campaign launched for the boy has raised over $1 million.
“He is recovering, and his spirit is strong–but there is still a long road ahead,” read the recent update. “We are thankful to Jesus for lifting us up and providing ongoing healing. We continue to ask for your prayers and greatly appreciate your respect for our privacy during this difficult time.”