Man convicted of murder in death of Adrian Peterson’s son

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway: ‘We have this weird connection’.

Another chapter in what has been a tumultuous two years for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been closed, as the man who allegedly beat his 2-year-old son to death in October 2013 has been convicted of second-degree murder in a South Dakota courtroom on Tuesday. MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway are in their ninth season together and have forged a bond during those years that would seem to defy logic. Joseph Patterson, 29, was also found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery in the death of Tyrese Robert Ruffin, according to the Associated Press. Peterson grew up as the nation’s most coveted high school player in Palestine, Texas; Greenway was a two-star recruit as an option quarterback for an eight-man team in Mount Vernon, South Dakota. And while Greenway has forged an impressive 10-year career as a sturdy linebacker, he took a pay cut to remain with the Vikings at age 32, while the team guaranteed part of Peterson’s salary in 2016 in order to keep an otherworldly talent the team hopes still will be elite at age 31.

Peterson only found out that he was the father of the child shortly before the boy’s death, and he was arranging to meet his young son for the first time when the incident that ultimately proved fatal occurred. Prosecutors had said Ruffin suffered blows to the head while in Patterson’s care and died from hemorrhaging, while defense attorneys had argued that the child’s death was accidental and the result of choking on snacks. Per the latest AP report, Patterson’s lawyers stuck to the story their client offered on a 911 call the night of the boy’s death — that Ruffin choked on a fruit snack. An autopsy concluded that the boy’s head sustained four blows, causing his brain to bleed, and doctors determined that the injuries could not have been accidental. Deputy attorney general Robert Mayer said jurors ultimately put their stock in the doctors who treated Ruffin over experts who testified for Patterson’s defense.

They are now two of the oldest players on one of the league’s youngest teams, and Greenway is one of the players Peterson trusts to keep him grounded. “We have a sort of relationship that you can’t buy,” Greenway said. “I just think that when he looks to me he wants an honest assessment of what he’s doing and how he’s doing. Peterson, the National Football League’s most valuable player in 2012, told reporters he had learned about Ruffin only two months before the incident and had been preparing to provide financial assistance to his son and the child’s mother. According to, prosecuting attorney Laura Shattuck said, “Really, what I wanted the jury to think about was the defendant, his actions, his thoughts and why he did this.” She added, “It takes a certain kind of person to abuse a child, a defenseless child, and I just really wanted the jury to focus on that.” Peterson missed most of the 2014 season after being placed on indefinite suspension by the NFL, following a grand jury indictment that he whipped a four-year-old son of his with a switch. The running back wound up making a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault, and his suspension was eventually overturned in a federal court, albeit after the season ended. Public perception changed when the Vikings star revealed he had only learned Ruffin was his son in August 2013, and while he was making arrangements with the mother to meet the boy, Peterson did not see him until he was hospitalized in critical condition.

A week later, Peterson attended Ruffin’s funeral. “It was a difficult day, just taking in the circumstance and the whole situation,” he said in 2013. “A child was buried. He had been working with Tyrese’s mother to arrange a meeting with the boy when he received a call that the child was hospitalized with severe injuries. I think he’s starting to feel a lot more comfortable out there.” Peterson stole the show with a 43-yard touchdown run on his way to 126 yards in the Vikings’ win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

This former editor and part-time writer at The Post is now happy to prove that if you combine ‘blowhard’ and ‘blaggard,’ you get ‘blogger.’ He previously had used ‘Desmond Bieler’ as his byline, but feels that shortening the first name to ‘Des’ nicely conveys his ever-decreasing gravitas. And yet it was Greenway who provided the most memorable moment of the day, with a 91-yard interception return touchdown in front of his 82-year-old grandfather, Tom, who was attending his first NFL game.

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