Jake Thomas Patterson is scheduled for a sentencing hearing Friday in Barron County, Wisconsin in the kidnapping of teenager Jayme Closs, and murder of her parents Denise and James Closs. He pleaded guilty in March. Court is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. ET.
The judge noted at the plea hearing that there was no sentencing agreement. In other words, Patterson still faces the possible maximum penalty of life in prison. In the lead up to that development, Patterson reportedly made clear that he wanted to plead guilty from the get-go. This was confirmed. His attorneys said in court that he wanted to admit guilt from the beginning. They said they worked on doing their due diligence in his case–for example, they planned on attempting to suppress his confession–but he insisted on this outcome, they said.
Prosecutors say he kidnapped Jayme Closs, and fatally shot her parents at their home last October. The crime went unsolved for months, with no apparent sign of the girl. The defendant kept her imprisoned at his Douglas County cabin, until she escaped in January. Investigators said he quickly admitted to the crime.
Ironically, he ended up reportedly refusing to cooperate with the pre-sentencing investigation, based on the advice of his counsel.
Authorities said there’s no indication that the Closs family knew Patterson before the incident. Indeed, the defendant said he first saw her by happenstance, according to the arrest affidavit. He claimed that he was driving behind a school bus, and saw her step into that vehicle. From then on, he decided that he was going to kidnap her.
[Mugshot Barron County Sheriff’s Department]