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Criminal defense attorney examines Patterson case

La Crosse Wis. (WXOW) – The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents, sits in jail on a $5 million bond.

As reported, a detailed criminal complaint reveals Patterson admitted to abducting the 13-year-old after shooting her mother and father.

La Crosse Criminal Defense Attorney Keith Belzer says reading the complaint was like reading a movie script.

“I read complaints and have for over 25 years,” Belzer said. “This is one of the more frightening complaints I’ve ever seen.”

Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright told reporters on Monday, his office is focused on a trial.

“The prosecution team that you see assembled here today wants justice for James and Denise Closs and for Jayme Closs,” Wright said at a press conference.

Belzer expects the District Attorney’s office to protect Jayme from the exposure of a trial. He believes Wright will avoid her making unnecessary court appearances.

“I don’t think she would have to make a court appearance up until and if there’s a trial,” Belzer added.

The prosecution asked for Patterson’s bond to be set at $5 million and the judge agreed.

Many are wondering if additional charges will be filed against Patterson. Wright said none would come from Barron County, but the Douglas County DA, the county where Jayme was held captive, indicated Patterson could face charges there. If that happens, Belzer believes Jayme would be involved in the decision.

“If she would just like to see that one case resolved and not have to go and explain that other stuff in the other case, I would think that would be respected,” Belzer explained.

Finally, Belzer touched on the criminal complaint. The document spells out Patterson’s alleged confession to police including how he planned for and carried out the crimes. Belzer indicates it could lead to a plea agreement, but doesn’t guarantee it.

“It depends what the attorney wants in the sentence,” he elaborated. “If the district attorney is looking for life without the possibility of parole, that sort of puts the defendant in the position that they’ve got nothing to lose by going to trial.”

Patterson’s next court appearance is set for February 6. The Douglas County DA indicated he expects to know if the office will file charges by then.

Jeremy Culver

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