Download our news and weather apps

Terry Patterson found guilty of murdering his 3-year-old son

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Shelby County jury has decided the fate of the father accused of murdering his 3-year-old son back in September 2015.

Terry Patterson was found guilty of all counts including aggravated child abuse, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated child neglect, second-degree murder, and aggravated child endangerment.

A judge denied bond at this time.

During the nearly week-long trial, the jury heard emotional testimony in the case against Patterson that at some points was so graphic, family members left the courtroom in tears.

During closing arguments, the prosecution asked for justice for Joe Joe.

"I ask that you send a message to him that what he did to that little boy that day, it’s reprehensible. It’s heinous, it’s unspeakable and it can’t be tolerated, and the way you do it is by finding him guilty," said Prosecutor Josh Corman.

On Wednesday, a homicide detective recounted the day he first questioned Patterson following young Josiah "Joe Joe" Patterson's death.

"He was pacing he was worried and concerned that's when I asked him to sit down," said the detective. "Asked if he knew why he was here. He said, 'Yes, because my son is dead and y’all need some answers.'"

After seeing images of the boy, he reportedly broke down and confessed.

"I went overboard, I love my son. I need help with my anger so this doesn't happen again," Patterson reportedly confessed in a written statement to police.

promo311562376Court documents obtained by WREG several months ago revealed Patterson told police he hit Joe Joe on the head "multiple times with his fist" and "with a belt on his abdomen" after the toddler spit out his food on the kitchen table. The affidavit also noted following the beating Josiah was left alone to go pick up his girlfriend. It noted the girlfriend encouraged Patterson to take the child to the hospital, but that didn't happen.

The next morning, Patterson originally said he found the child unresponsive on the couch. The Memphis Fire Department transported Josiah to the hospital by ambulance. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

At the time of the child's death, his mother told WREG she and Patterson were in the middle of a nasty custody battle. The courts granted the father a week of temporary custody. It was during that week that little Joe Joe was killed.

Family members said previous abuse and threats were reported to police, but neither officers nor child services ever followed up.

WREG uncovered Patterson has been in and out of jail for years facing everything from violent disorderly conduct to statutory rape charges.

Court records revealed Patterson pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 1996.

He served six months behind bars and was fined $500.

Patterson confessed to a second statutory rape charge in 2001, for which he served another nine months and paid a $500 fine.