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Suspect in death of NFL star's son denies abuse

Joseph Patterson
Joseph Patterson

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A man charged with killing the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in South Dakota last fall says the child choked on strawberry fruit snacks while he was in the bathroom.

Joseph Patterson, 28, is facing second-degree murder, manslaughter and aggravated assault charges in the death of two-year-old Tyrese Ruffin.

Patterson gave his version of events through his lawyer as he appeared in court Thursday for a motion hearing.

Prosecutors want jurors to hear evidence from previous accusations of child abuse against Patterson.

Defense lawyer Tim Rensch says the similarities aren't clear enough to allow the prejudicial testimony.

Patterson remains in custody on a $1 million cash bond. He was arrested again in June following accusations that he assaulted the boy's mother.

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