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Jake Patterson sentenced to life without parole for kidnapping Jayme Closs, killing her parents

May 24, 2019 06:22 PM

The man charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl and killing her parents has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Jake Patterson was sentenced Friday afternoon in Barron County.

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In March, he pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping, and prosecutors dropped an armed burglary charge. A judge sentenced Patterson to two consecutive terms of life in prison on the counts of intentional homicide, and the maximum of 40 years on kidnapping (25 years in prison, 15 years supervised release), also consecutive.

Closs was held for 88 days in a cabin about an hour north of Barron before she escaped in January.

KSTP's full coverage of Jayme Closs

A criminal complaint said Patterson told authorities he decided "to take" Closs after seeing her getting on a school bus near her home.

Several family members read emotional statements in court before Patterson's sentence was handed down, and a statement from Jayme was read, which said in part, "He stole my parents from me, he stole almost everything I loved from me, for 88 days he tried to steal me ... He should stay locked up forever."

"I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not," the statement added. "Jake Patterson will never have any power over me."

One of Jayme's aunts, Suzi Allard, said, "I don't want another family to go through the nightmare my family has had to endure," in asking the judge to sentence Patterson to the maximum penalty on all counts. Added Lindsey Smith, one of Jayme's cousins, in a statement directed at Patterson, "You took so much from our family, but you won't take our happiness anymore."

When given the chance to make a statement, Patterson said, "I would do absolutely anything to take back what I did." Amid sobs, he said added, "I would die ... to bring them back. I don't care about me. I'm just so sorry."

Defense attorneys said Patterson told them on January 13 he was prepared to go to prison for the rest of his life for "the horrible things he had done," and argued he had showed some remorse following his arrest.

Related: Court hears emotional victim impact statements from Jayme Closs, family at Patterson sentencing

The intentional homicide charges carried a maximum sentence of life in prison, which is what prosecutors recommended to the judge for sentencing. The defense asked for concurrent sentences of life in prison with the opportunity for some rehabilitative services.

Judge James C. Babler said before handing down the sentence, "These crimes rank as the most heinous I've seen, either here or in the state of Wisconsin. And perhaps in the United States." Babler also said he wasn't sure what kind of rehabilitative services could help Patterson.

Added Babler, "There is no doubt in my mind that you are one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet." He then explained the difference between remorse and regret, and said he has no doubt Patterson had regret, and no doubt he had no remorse.

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