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October 28, 2013 02:50 PM

Patterson Pleads Not Guilty In Boy's Death

Canton, SD

A man charged in the death of a two-year-old Sioux Falls boy pleaded not guilty to all charges against him during a court appearance Monday afternoon.

Bond for Joseph Patterson was raised to one million dollars last week after a Lincoln County grand jury indicted him on new charges in the death of Tyrese Ruffin.  On Monday, Patterson's attorney argued it should be lowered, saying the evidence against his client is very circumstantial and pointed more to a choking child.

Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman says the autopsy showed there were four impact areas on the boy's head, which led to bleeding in the brain.  Wollman says the injuries were fresh and from clear blunt-force trauma.  Wollman cited Patterson's history of abuse and assault, saying he would be a threat to the community if released. 

Defense attorney Tim Rensch responded by saying that Patterson has family ties and a job in the area. 

The judge reduced bond to $750,000. 

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January 13, 2014.

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