Joseph Patterson sentenced to life in prison
A jury convicted Patterson in September, following a close to three-week trial. He was found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and aggravated battery.
On Thursday, Judge Bradley Zell imposed a sentence of life in prison without parole, the mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree murder in South Dakota.
Patterson will also serve a concurrent sentence of 25 years in prison for the aggravated battery charges. The state does not allow sentences to be imposed on both murder and manslaughter charges, so Patterson received no additional time in prison on the manslaughter charge.
Defense attorney Tim Rensch likened Patterson’s case to the Salem witch trials during the sentencing hearing, maintaining that his client was innocent.
“I believe that one day this case will be held up as an example of injustice,” Rensch said.