Wisconsin man sentenced to life for slayings, kidnapping of Jayme Closs

Jake Patterson was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. File Photo courtesy of the Barron County Sheriff's Department

May 24 (UPI) — A Wisconsin judge handed down a life imprisonment sentence Friday to Jake Patterson, a 21-year-old man who killed a husband and wife before kidnapping their daughter, Jayme Closs.

Barron County District Judge James Babler’s sentence included no possibility of parole.

“I was shocked by the brutalness,” he said of the crimes. “There is no doubt in my mind that you are the most dangerous man to walk on this planet. … You are the embodiment of evil.”

In March, Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and a third count of kidnapping. He killed James Closs and Denise Closs at their Barron home in mid-October.

After kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme, he kept her in captivity in his home nearly three months. He held the girl under a bed for hours on end during the ordeal before she was able to free herself and run to a neighbor for help.

A criminal complaint said Patterson targeted Jayme for kidnapping when he spotted her boarding a school bus.

Babler listened to victim impact statements before rendering his verdict, including testimony from two of Jayme’s aunts. An attorney read a statement by Jayme, who did not attend Friday’s hearing.

“Last October, Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I love away from me,” the statement read. “It makes me the most sad that he took away my mom and my dad. I loved my mom and dad very much and they loved me very much.

“They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever. I felt safe in my room, and I loved my room and all of my belongings; he took all of that too. I don’t want to see that stuff for the memory of that night.

“I will always have my freedom, and he will not. Jake Patterson could not take away my courage. He will never own me.”


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