A Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's son.
A jury convicted Joseph Patterson of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery back in September for causing the death of 2-year-old Tyrese Ruffin – the son of Peterson and Patterson's girlfriend.
On Thursday, Judge Bradley Zell ordered a sentence of life in prison without parole – the mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree murder in South Dakota.
He will also serve a concurrent sentence of 25 years in prison for the aggravated battery charges
Patterson has maintained his innocence throughout the process and that didn't change at Thursday's sentencing hearing.
"This is probably where people expect a guilty person to turn around and ask for forgiveness," the Argus Leader quotes Patterson. "I'm not guilty. All I did was try to help."
Ruffin's mother, Ashley Doohen, also took the stand. She asked the judge to sentence Patterson so "no one else gets hurt."
During the trial, prosecutors claimed the boy's injuries came from blunt force trauma caused by Patterson. KELO reports that the autopsy notes Ruffin suffered four blows to the head and doctors determined the boy's injuries could not have been accidental.
But the defense claimed Ruffin choked on a fruit snack, and the lack of oxygen caused blood vessels in the boy's brain to rupture, accounting for his injuries.