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Sioux Falls man pleads not guilty in death of Peterson's son

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A Sioux Falls man has pleaded not guilty to murdering a two-year-old boy fathered by Vikings star Adrian Peterson, KELO reports.

According to the report, Joseph Patterson also pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, battery, and abusing a minor. The station says his attorney argued during Monday's court appearance that only circumstantial evidence connects Patterson to the death of Tyrese Ruffin.

Prosecutors contend the boy died when at least four head injuries caused bleeding in the brain and they filed the second-degree murder charge against Patterson last week. KELO reports Patterson's attorney, Tim Rensch, argued in court that the evidence points to the boy choking on a Gummi Bear.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports the judge reduced Patterson's bond from $1 million to $750,000 at Monday's arraignment.

Peterson says he only recently learned that he was Tyrese's father and saw the boy for the first time in the hospital shortly before his death.

Peterson's connection to the case has focused more attention to Tyrese's death than was paid to half-a-dozen other recent South Dakota child deaths that were connected to abuse, the Associated Press reports.

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