Joseph Patterson, who was alone with Peterson’s 2-year-old son Tyrese on the night of his death, was also found guilty of first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery. The second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.
Tyrese was the son of Patterson’s girlfriend and Peterson. Peterson found out Tyrese was his son two months before he died, and met him for the first time in the hospital on the day before he passed away.
Tyrese’s autopsy found that his head sustained four blows that caused his brain to bleed. Doctors concluded the injuries could not have been accidental, despite a doctor who testified for the defense swearing that Tyrese’s injuries could have come from receiving CPR. Patterson’s defense said during the trial that Tyrese had choked on a fruit snack.
“We couldn't be more excited and thrilled for Tyrese,” deputy attorney general Bob Mayer said after the verdict. “He finally gets the justice he deserved.”
- Erin Flynn