Wisconsin: Man who kidnapped 13-year-old Jayme Closs gets life without parole – Judge calls him the ’embodiment of evil’

Jake Patterson walked into court for his sentencing in the murder of James and Denise Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on Friday, May 24, 2019. Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright told a judge during Jake Patterson's sentencing hearing Friday that Patterson would never stop trying to find and possibly kill Jayme Closs if he gets out of prison.(Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

By AMY FORLITI and TODD RICHMOND,  Associated Press  BARRON, Wis. (AP) 05/24 — A Wisconsin man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents after the girl told the judge she that wanted him “locked up forever” for trying to steal her.

Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He admitted he broke into Jayme’s home in October, gunned down her parents, James and Denise Closs, made off with her and held her under a bed in his remote cabin for 88 days before she made a daring escape.

Jayme didn’t appear at Patterson’s sentencing hearing Friday, but a family attorney read her first public statements about her ordeal to Judge James Babler.

Lawyer Chris Gramstrup got up after he read a statement by Jayme Closs at sentencing of Patterson for the murder of James and Denise Closs and abduction of Jayme Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on Friday, May 24, 2019. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

 

“He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter,” the statement said. “I was brave and he was not. … He thought he could make me like him, but he was wrong. … For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should be locked up forever.”

The judge called Patterson the “embodiment of evil” before sentencing him to consecutive life sentences without the possibility of release on the homicide charges. He also ordered Patterson to serve 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision on the kidnapping count.

Judge James Babler sentenced Jake Patterson to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of James and Denise Closs as well as 40 years abduction of Jayme Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on Friday, May 24, 2019.(Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

 

“There’s no doubt in my mind you’re one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Babler said.

Patterson sat shaking his head during most of the hearing. Offered a chance to speak, he said he would do anything to take back what he did.

“I would die,” he said. “I would do absolutely anything … to bring them back. I don’t care about me. I’m just so sorry. That’s all.”

The judge read statements that Patterson wrote in jail in which he said he had succumbed to fantasies about keeping a young girl and torturing and controlling her. He started looking for an opportunity to kidnap someone, even deciding he might want to take multiple girls and kill multiple families, according to the statements. Jayme was the first girl he saw after these thoughts entered his mind, he said.

Jayme Closs’ aunt, Jennifer Smith, addresses the media after Jake Patterson’s sentencing hearing on Friday, May 24, 2019, at Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis. Patterson was sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping Closs and murdering her parents. (Tork Mason/The Post-Crescent via AP)

 

Jake Patterson spoke with his lawyer Richard Jones at the sentencing the murder of James and Denise Closs and abduction of Jayme Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on Friday, May 24, 2019. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP)

 

Patterson’s attorneys, Richard Jones and Charles Glynn, told the judge that Patterson was isolated and that he overreacted to loneliness. They asked for leniency for Patterson, noting that he had pleaded guilty to spare Jayme and her family from a trial.

According to a criminal complaint, Patterson was driving to work in October when he spotted Jayme getting on a school bus near her rural home outside Barron, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Minneapolis. He decided then that “she was the girl he was going to take.”

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald addresses the media after Jake Patterson’s sentencing hearing on Friday, May 24, 2019, at Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis. Patterson was sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents. (Tork Mason/The Post-Crescent via AP)

 

Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright addresses the media after Jake Patterson’s sentencing hearing on Friday, May 24, 2019, at Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis. Patterson was sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents. (Tork Mason/The Post-Crescent via AP)

 

District Attorney Brian Wright told the judge that Patterson traveled to the Closs home on two separate occasions to kidnap her but turned back because of activity at her house.

He finally drove to the house during the early morning hours of Oct. 15 dressed in black and carrying his father’s shotgun. He shot James Closs through a window in the front door, blasted the lock and moved inside.

He found the bathroom door locked. He broke the door down and discovered Jayme and her mother clinging to each other in the bathtub. He tied Jayme up with tape, then shot Denise Closs in the head as she sat next to her daughter.

He dragged Jayme through her father’s blood and out to his car. He threw her in the trunk and drove her to his cabin in Gordon in Douglas County, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Barron.

He kept her trapped under a bed using totes filled with weights and hit her with a curtain rod, Wright said.

“He kept her in constant fear, threatening her, telling her things would get worse,” Wright said.

Jayme finally escaped on Jan. 10 while Patterson was away. She flagged down a neighbor, who found someone to call police. Patterson was arrested minutes later as he returned to the cabin.

Patterson was also ordered to register as a sex offender, which under Wisconsin law may be required both for an actual sex offense or an attempted sexual offense. Details of Jayme’s time in captivity have not been released, and no charges were brought by prosecutors in the county where she was held.

___

Richmond reported from Madison.

https://www.apnews.com/c210156e2e1d43e5859138e0bb2b903c

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Convictions, Courts & Trials, Crime & Criminals, Deaths, Guilty Pleas, Homicide, Juveniles, Kidnapping/Hostages, Murder/Attempted Murder, Sentencing, Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct, Shootings, Victims of Crime

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