Joseph Patterson, the South Dakota man accused of killing Tyrese Ruffin, Adrian Peterson's 2-year-old biological son last October, is currently free after posting a $2 million bond on charges that he assaulted Ruffin's mother. This is the second time in under a year that he's bonded out on charges that could bring life in prison. How does this happen?

Patterson's father posted his first bond last October, $750,000 to spring him after he was charged with Ruffin's murder. Then, on June 25, Patterson allegedly went to the residence of Ann Doohen, Ruffin's mother, and choked her twice, once to the point of unconsciousness. Patterson was charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, interference with emergency communication and injury to property.

Advertisement

Last Friday, Patterson's father once again posted his son's bond. So, despite violating the terms of his first bond, despite a history of previous child beatings, Patterson is once again free until his scheduled jury trial.

South Dakota's laws gave the court the opportunity to prevent Doohen's assault. Section 23A-43-2, emphasis mine:

Release of defendant on personal recognizance or unsecured bond—Exceptions. Except for a defendant charged with an offense punishable by death or a defendant who is currently released on personal recognizance bond, a defendant shall, at his appearance before a committing magistrate or court be ordered released pending trial on his personal recognizance or upon the execution of an unsecured appearance bond in an amount specified by the committing magistrate or court, unless the magistrate or court determines in the exercise of his discretion, that such a release will not reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required or that the defendant may pose a danger to any other person or to the community.

Patterson did pose a danger to the community. He still does.

[KELOLAND | Argus Leader]

H/t to Em