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Adrian Peterson Son Dies: Robert Joseph Patterson Charges Upgraded To Second Degree Murder [VIDEO]

By by Glenn Minnis
on Oct 21, 2013 11:41 AM EDT
Adrian Peterson
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will have surgery on his groin Thursday. (Photo : Reuters)

The man accused in the beating death of Adrian Peterson's two-year-old son now faces second degree murder charges that could lead to mandatory life imprisonment.

According to TMZ, Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was hit with the upgraded charges over the last few days. In addition, the website reports he also faces charges of first degree manslaughter , aggravated battery against an infant and felony child abuse.

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The body of Tyrese Robert Ruffin was found in his South Dakota home earlier this month. Police have indicated Patterson, who reportedly was dating the boy's mother, was the only person at home with the child at the time he suffered his injuries.

"It was tough," a distraught Peterson told the media of attending his son's funeral last last. "It was a crazy situation... it hurts. You can't describe it. I want people to understand my mindset. Any bad I try to take good from it. That's the way I approach life. I never thought about not playing. It was all about going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through. That was my focus."

Over the years, the 28-year-old Peterson has come to know tragedy all too well. When he was just seven, his teenage brother was struck and killed by a drunken driver and in 2007 another brother was shot and killed in Houston the night before Peterson was to take part part in the NFL combine.

Patterson is now being held on $750,000 bail.

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