Jake Patterson, who pleaded guilty to abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, received a pair of life sentences for the slayings of James and Denise Closs as well as 40 years in prison for the 88-day kidnapping of Jayme.
Jayme Closs did not attend the sentencing, but a family member read a statement from the teenager in court that asked the judge to deliver life sentences against Patterson, CNN reports.
“I have to have an alarm in the house just so I can sleep. I used to love to go out with my friends. I loved to go to school. I loved to do dance. He took all of those things away from me too,” Closs’ statement read. “It’s too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared and I get anxious. These are just ordinary things that anyone like me should be about to do, but I can’t because he took them away from me.”
However, Closs noted, Patterson could not take away her courage, her spirit and now her freedom.
“Jake Patterson will never have any power over me. I feel like I have some power over him, because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him. He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I love from me. For 88 days he tried to steal me, and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that,” the statement concluded. “He should stay locked up forever.”
Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of homicide and one count of abducting a minor in March. Prior to sentencing Friday, Patterson told the court, “I would do, like, absolutely anything to take back what I did, you know. I would die. I would do absolutely anything to bring them back.”
His attorneys asked the judge for a sentence that factored in leniency for pleading guilty as well as a means to “work on his issues” and providing the “services that he needs.”
Barron County Circuit Court Judge James C. Babler disagreed. “There is no doubt in my mind that you are one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Babler told Patterson upon sentencing. “The overriding factor in this sentencing is the protection of the public. The rest of the public deserves liberty and justice.” Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
On October 15th, 2018, Patterson – who became obsessed with Jayme Closs after spotting her as she boarded a school bus – fatally shot James Closs, while Jayme and her mother Denise hid in the bathtub; he then killed Denise and abducted Jayme, dragging her to the trunk of his car before driving to his cabin 65 miles north of the Closs’ Wisconsin home.
Patterson kept Jayme at his home for 88 days, leaving her under the bed for hours without food or water so she could avoid detection. He weighed down the bedposts to prevent her from escaping.
On January 10th, Patterson left the house for a few hours, giving Jayme – who “watched his routine,” she said in her statement – the opportunity to escape. A social worker recognized her from the media coverage of her disappearance and took her to the police station. Patterson was later arrested and confessed to his crimes, telling authorities, “I did it.”