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Patterson pleads guilty to kidnapping, homicide charges

BARRON, Wis. (WXOW) – Jake Patterson, the man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents, has pleaded guilty to the charges.

The pleas spare the Closs and her family the possible trauma of having to testify at a trial.

Patterson made his plea Tuesday afternoon in a Barron County Courtroom. He smiled at family members as he entered the Barron County courtroom.

Patterson made the plea deal to two charges of First Degree Intentional Homicide and one charge of kidnapping.

As part of the plea deal, a charge of Armed Burglary was dismissed but can be considered at sentencing. Any charges that would have come from Douglas County were also dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Patterson was charged with shooting and killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their 13-year-old daughter Jayme from the family’s rural Barron home last October.

Nearly three months later, in early January, she escaped from captivity from a Douglas County home. Patterson was arrested shortly after her escape.

More Closs Coverage

Prior to Wednesday’s hearing, he had indicated to several reporters that he intended to plead guilty to the charges of homicide and kidnapping.

In court, his attorneys told the judge that Patterson told them that he wanted to enter a guilty plea since the day they first met. Attorney Richard Jones said that they discussed all aspects of the case including change of venue, suppression of his statements, and a trial with Patterson, who rejected them all in favor of the guilty plea.

Later during the hearing, the 21-year-old Patterson responded “Guilty” to Judge James Babler after each charge and the details of the charges were read out in court.

Babler ended the hearing by scheduling sentencing for Patterson the afternoon of Friday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Each of the homicide charges carries a sentence of life imprisonment. The kidnapping charge allows a maximum 40 year sentence.

Members of the Closs family along with Patterson’s father and sister left the courthouse without making any comments to the media.

Kevin Millard

Kevin Millard-Social Media Digital Content Manager for WXOW.

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