Patterson To Be Sentenced Thursday: A Look Back At Murder Trial

Lincoln County State's Attorney After Guilty Verdict: "Justice was served."

The man convicted of murdering Adrian Peterson’s biological son back in October of 2013 is expected to be sentenced Thursday. In late September, Joseph Patterson was found guilty of 2nd degree murder, manslaughter and aggravated battery in the death of 2-year-old Tyrese Ruffin. We a look back at the trial and what led to the jury’s decision.

On the night of Oct. 9, 2013, Joseph Patterson’s life would change forever and another would be lost.

“You’re going to be free or go to prison for the rest of your life. It’s huge stakes,” said Deputy Attorney General Bob Mayer.

The prosecution claims that Ruffin, the son of Patterson’s girlfriend, received injuries while in his care, consistent with abusive head trauma. They say the abuse caused his lungs to shut down and his heart to stop. The toddler died two days later after being taken off life support.

“Really what I wanted the jury to think about was the defendant, his actions, his thoughts and why he did this. It takes a certain kind of person to abuse a child, a defenseless child,” said Assistant Attorney General Laura Shattuck.

The prosecutors had medical professionals testify to that at trial. Patterson’s attorney’s did the same. They argued that after choking on fruit snacks, a blood clotting disorder and excessive CPR caused Ty’s death. They called on people from all over the world to help their defense.

Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman said, “At the end of the day, those doctors who treated and cared for Tyrese and tried to save his life that day were the doctors they put the stock in.”

After ten days of hearing testimony, the jury began deliberating in the afternoon on Sept. 29. After only six hours, they came back with a verdict: guilty on all counts.

Wollman said, “Justice was served.”

Shortly after the verdict was read that Tuesday night, there was some commotion. A family member of Patterson was escorted out of the courtroom after yelling and making hand gestures towards the victim’s family.

Patterson faces a sentence of up to life in prison.  His sentencing is scheduled to take place on Thursday at the Lincoln County Courthouse in Canton at 1:30 p.m.