The South Dakota man who allegedly beat the two-year-old son of NFL star Adrian Peterson to death in October, 2013, was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday, Yahoo is reporting. Joseph Patterson, 29, now faces life in prison.
Patterson was additionally found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery in the death of Tyrese Robert Ruffin, Peterson's son. Patterson had been dating Peterson's ex-girlfriend, with whom the Minnesota Vikings running back had the child, at the time. An autopsy showed the toddler sustained four blows to the head under Patterson's care.
Peterson had only learned that Ruffin was his son in August, 2013, two months before the boy's death. The NFL star attended Ruffin's funeral.
"It was a difficult day, just taking in the circumstance and the whole situation," Peterson said in 2013, as reported by Yahoo. "A child was buried. That's difficult for anyone. I'm standing strong, man. I am. My main focus has been on my son and their family down there in Sioux Falls. Just trying to wrap my head around things and trying to stay focused and play ball as well."
Ironically, Peterson was suspended for 15 games of the 2014 NFL season for a child-abuse scandal involving his 4-year-old son.
The 30-year-old rusher and his wife recently gave birth to a son, Axyl Eugene Peterson, this past Sunday. Yahoo reports the boy is Peterson's seventh child and second from his wife.
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