Trial begins for South Dakota man charged with killing Adrian Peterson's son


Opening statements in the trial of a South Dakota man accused of killing Adrian Peterson's biological son in October 2013 are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Joseph Patterson has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges in the death of 2-year-old Tyrese Robert Ruffin, the son of his girlfriend and the Vikings running back.

An autopsy found the boy sustained four blows to his head, which caused his brain to bleed, with doctors concluding the injuries couldn't have been accidental.

Prosecutors aim to prove that Patterson delivered those blows, while Patterson's defense maintains the child choked on a fruit snack, KELO says.

Patterson's defense attorney plans to have a doctor testify that a choking incident could cause brain swelling similar to what doctors saw with Tyrese, KELO notes. Despite prosecutors calling this "junk science", a judge ruled Monday that this would be allowed, which was a victory for the defense, the Argus Leader says.

The trial is expected to take up to three weeks. If convicted, Patterson faces a mandatory life in prison, reports note.

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