On Tuesday, a South Dakota jury convicted a man in the death of his 2-year-old son. The man was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges.
Joseph Patterson, 29, was found guilty of the second-degree murder charger, along with first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery. The Lincoln County jury deliberated for more than five hours before coming to the verdict.
There was two weeks of testimony in the case about the Oct. 2013 death of Tyrese Robert Ruffin, who is the son of Patterson and his girlfriend.
Patterson and Ruffin were alone in an apartment when the authorities allege that the 29-year-old assaulted the two-year-old. Following an autopsy, it was determined that the young boy had sustained four blows to the head, which caused his brain to bleed. It was also determined that these injuries were not accidental.
Now, he’s facing what could be life in prison. He’ll be sentenced at a later date.
His defense was suspect as they alleged that Ruffin choked on a fruit snack. However, a doctor did say that the autopsy photos were consistent with a child being given CPR after choking.
Peterson barely knew this child, as he found out Ruffin was his just two months before his death. He was in talks with the child’s mother to arrange a meeting when he was shocked to receive a call that his son had suffered severe injuries.
The All-Pro back then rushed to get to his bed-side and saw him for the first time a day before he passed away.