UPDATE: Man Pleads Not Guilty in Peterson's Son's Death

By: WCCO-TV/ Associated Press
By: WCCO-TV/ Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- A 27-year-old Sioux Falls man has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of killing the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

KELO television reports that Joseph Robert Patterson is being held on reduced bond of $750,000. He's charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the death of Tyrese Robert Ruffin.

Patterson is the boyfriend of Tyrese's mother.

Patterson's attorney, Tim Rensch, argued for the lower bond, saying evidence against his client is circumstantial.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January.

Peterson had just recently found out that Tyrese was his son. The NFL star had been planning to meet the boy and rushed to Sioux Falls when he heard Tyrese was hospitalized.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January.

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UPDATE: Tues 4:09 PM, Oct. 15, 2013

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Prosecutors expect to ask a grand jury to consider more serious charges in the death of the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

Tom Wollman, Lincoln County state’s attorney, said Tuesday he’ll review the recently completed autopsy findings and other reports before looking at any new charges against Joseph Robert Patterson, 27.

“We’ll seek a grand jury review in the near future,” Wollman said.

Sioux Falls police identified the boy Tuesday as Tyrese Robert Ruffin, who died Friday after being hospitalized with severe head injuries. Earlier Tuesday, they’d given an incorrect surname.

Patterson, the boyfriend of Tyrese’s mother, was charged last week with aggravated assault and aggravated battery and is being held on $750,000 cash bond. A message left for Patterson’s attorney Tuesday was not returned, and Patterson’s mother said she didn’t want to comment.

The criminal complaint accuses Patterson of intentionally of recklessly injuring Tyrese by causing bleeding of the skull or brain damage by blows, shaking or making the boy’s head impact an object or surface.

Prosecutors are also asking that a suspended sentence be imposed for a 2012 domestic assault conviction, saying the deal required Patterson to show no violent, threatening or assaultive behavior for three years. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Lincoln County court records also show a July 2012 protection order was taken out against Patterson, in which he had to stay 1,000 feet away from a former girlfriend, their son and her two other boys for five years. The woman told the court that Patterson spanked her 3-year-old son’s bare bottom until it had welts after hearing the boy acted up at church.

The woman asked the court to drop the protection order two months later, saying she wanted their son to be raised by both his mother and father.

No plans for a memorial service for Tyrese have been announced, and his relatives told The Associated Press they did not wish to talk to reporters.

Peterson, who has declined to discuss the relationship he had with the boy, rushed to the Sioux Falls hospital to see the child Thursday, missing practice. He returned to Minneapolis for Friday’s practice and learned that the child died.

He played Sunday in the Vikings’ loss to the Carolina Panthers.

“Anytime you lose a child, no matter the circumstances, it hurts,” Peterson told reporters after the game. “I can’t describe it.”

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ORIGINAL STORY: Fri 4:45 PM, Oct. 11, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) –Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son, who had been in critical condition after being beaten, has died from his injuries, according to Sioux Falls police.

Peterson had been in Sioux Falls on Thursday, visiting the boy who police said had been allegedly severely beaten by the man who the mother of the boy is dating.

Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was arrested in the case and is expected to be charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. His first court appearance was Friday.

During an impromptu press conference at Winter Park, Peterson said he will be playing on Sunday, and asked for privacy over the situation.

“This is a private matter, and I ask y’all to please respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand,” Peterson said.

Peterson is second in the NFL with 421 yards rushing and first in the league with five touchdowns.

The Vikings (1-3) host the Carolina Panthers (1-3) on Sunday.


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