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MEMPHIS, Tenn.  — New details have emerged about Terry Patterson, the man accused of killing his 3-year-old son Josiah.

WREG has uncovered disturbing details that chronicle the little boy’s last moments, along with court records that reveal the custody battle that put him in the hands of a convicted felon.

Little Josiah would have turned 4 years old next month. His birthday of Oct. 4 is exactly one month from the last day some saw him alive.

The question is: Should authorities have connected the dots between his mother’s concerns and his father’s criminal past?

Patterson, 47, made his first court appearance by video Tuesday.

Police said Patterson killed his 3-year-old son. Prosecutors charged him with murder and aggravated child abuse.

An affidavit revealed Patterson told police that on Sept. 4 he hit Josiah on the head “multiple times with his fist” and “with a belt on his abdomen.”

He admitted he was mad at the toddler for spitting his food out on the couch.

The affidavit also noted the couch is where he left Josiah 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 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.

Josiah’s mom Kerra Brown spoke with WREG over the weekend.

“How could he do his son like that?,” she said. “That’s what went through my mind because when I left my son my son was breathing. He was talking.”

Records the On Your Side Investigators obtained from juvenile court show the 3-year-old was scheduled to go back to his mother’s house Sept. 6.

Brown had custody of Josiah for most of his life, with Patterson getting visitation and paying child support.

However, Patterson filed a petition in May to get custody of Josiah.

A judge put some additional visitation arrangements in place for the summer. The two were supposed to go through mediation, but records show Brown didn’t show up.

On Aug. 27, the court decided on joint custody; Brown would have primary custody, but Josiah would split his time between her and Patterson. His father’s week, which started Aug. 30, was the last he’d be alive.

Brown’s family said the system failed Josiah.

“Why the police system didn’t do anything about it?” a relative asked. “Why they didn’t pick up the charges?”

Those “charges” against Patterson range in type and span two decades.

Patterson, who claimed he could provide a better home for Josiah and said the boy slept on the floor at his mom’s house and even accused her of smoking weed, is himself a convicted felon.

He was indicted twice for statutory rape. Patterson pleaded guilty each time, but once was to a lesser charge, and he barely spent anytime locked up.

The On Your Side Investigators also found an incident report that revealed Patterson was the subject of a sex crimes investigation related to human trafficking accusations just last September. There are no arrests on record that correlate to those accusations.

It’s unclear whether Patterson’s criminal past came up during the custody talks. There’s nothing on record in the juvenile court documents obtained by WREG.

There’s also no involvement documented from the Department of Children’s Services in juvenile court records, although the agency confirmed it is investigating and did have some type of prior contact with the family.

The last filing in juvenile court that awarded joint custody also indicated both parties had five days to request a repeat hearing on the matter. Neither Brown nor Patterson did.