Man charged in Wisconsin kidnapping, murder by the court

FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, file photo, Jake Patterson appears for his preliminary hearing in Barron County Circuit Court in Barron, Wis. Patterson, charged with the abduction of a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl and killing her parents, is expected to enter a formal plea when he appears in court for a detention, on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (T’xer Zhon Kha/The Post-Crescent via AP, Pool, File)

BARRON, Wis. – A man accused of kidnapping a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl, killing her parents and keeps her prisoner in a hut for three months, is expected to make a formal plea Wednesday when he appears in court for a detention.

Jake Patterson, 21, wrote in a letter to the Minneapolis’ KARE-TV this month that he intends to confess. His attorneys have not returned repeated messages seeking to confirm that he will do on the accusation in western Wisconsin. The prosecutors have said that they have no response. These sessions are usually procedural matters, where the charges are read to a defendant in a formal plea ahead of the trial. Sometimes a judge will enter a not-guilty plea on the person in charge.

Patterson told the authorities that he decided “to take” Jayme Closs after seeing her get on a school bus near her home, a criminal complaint says. He is accused of killing her parents, James and Denise Closs on Oct. 15 at the family home near Barron, about 90 miles (145 km) in the north-east of Minneapolis. He then allegedly threw Jayme in the trunk of his car and drove to a secluded cabin, where authorities say he held her for 88 days until they escaped Jan. 10.

Patterson is charged with two counts of deliberate homicide and one count each of kidnapping and armed burglary. He faces life in prison if convicted on the murder counts.

Jayme told the police that the night she was kidnapped, she was sleeping in her room when the dog began to bark, the indictment says. She woke up her parents when a car came in the driveway.

She and her mother hid in the bathroom, in the bath with shower curtain, close drawn. She heard Jayme father shot as he went to the front door. Patterson then found Jayme. He told detectives he wrapped tape around her mouth and head, taped her hands behind her back and taped her ankles together, then shot her mother in the head.

During her time in captivity, Patterson forced Jayme to hide under a bed if he had friends, and wrote to her in tote boxes and weights, with the warning that if they moved, “bad things can happen with her.” He also turned the radio, so that visitors could not hear her, according to the complaint.

Authorities searched for Jayme for months and collected more than 3,500 tips. In January, she escaped when Patterson was away from the cabin and the flag down, a woman let her dog out to help. Patterson was arrested minutes later.

Since her escape, Jayme lives with an aunt in Barron, from the public, but for a handful of photos with a smiling Jayme posted to the aunt’s Facebook page.

Patterson wrote in his jailhouse letter to KARE-TV that he intended to plead guilty, because he did not want that Jayme’s family “to worry about a trial,” the station said.


Check out AP’s complete coverage of Jayme Closs’ abduction and her parents to kill.

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