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Patterson pleads guilty to kidnapping and homicide

UPDATE (WKOW) — Jake Patterson pleaded guilty Thursday in Barron County Court to kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents.

In a plea agreement approved by the judge, Patterson agreed to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.

A burglary charge was dismissed, but read into the record.

Also, prosecutors agreed not to bring any charges for crimes that may have been committed in Douglas County, where Patterson held the teenage Closs for nearly three months.

Closs escaped from Patterson’s Gordon cabin Jan. 10 and Patterson was arrested the same day.

“Mr. Patterson has wanted to enter a plea from the day we met him,”   Patterson’s attorney Richard Jones says.

Authorities say Patterson saw Closs at a bus stop and decided he was going to kidnap her.  Patterson later went to the Closs family home Oct. 15, 2018, shooting James Kloss as he went to the door, and shooting Denise Closs after forcing Jayme Closs to attempt to bind her mother with tape.  Patterson took the teenager and put her in the trunk of his car.

Authorities say during Closs’s time at Patterson’s rural home, he would often keep he barricaded under a bed when he left the cabin.

Jones says he discussed with Patterson’s options for his defense, including trying to squash a confession he gave to investigators, and mounting an NGI (not guilty by reason of insanity, now termed mental disease or defect).

“We’ve discussed all that with him and he’s rejected all that and decided this is what he wanted to do,”  Jones says.

In a letter to a Minneapolis reporter earlier this month, Patterson wrote that he intended to plead guilty so as to not put the Closs family through a trial.

Patterson was composed through most of Thursday’s court hearing, but became emotional when he plead guilty to Denise Closs’s killing, and was then asked for a plea to the kidnap of her teen daughter.

“Take your time, take a deep breath,”  Jones said to Patterson, before Patterson uttered, “Guilty.”

Patterson’s father, Patrick Patterson, declined to answer as he left the courtroom when a 27 News reporter asked him if his son had made the right decision.

“I feel he did the right thing,”  Jacki Fladten of Barron says.   Fladten says she has attended community support meetings in connection with the Closs kidnapping.

Fladten says she believes Patterson’s guilty pleas will bring the Closs family some closure.  “And closure for all of Barron here,” she says of the community of 3,400.

The homicide charges carry a sentence of life in prison. The kidnapping charge carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.  A judge will have to decide if Patterson is ever eligible for parole, and if so, when.  The earliest parole can even be considered in connection with a life sentence is twenty years.

After the judge had adjourned Wednesday’s court hearing and as Patterson was being led away by court personnel, a reporter with ABC affiliate WISN who was in the gallery and close to Patterson says Patterson blurted out a final remark: “Bye, Jayme.”

Patterson will return for sentencing on Friday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m.




UPDATE (WKOW) – A source with knowledge of the investigation and prosecution of Jake Patterson for the alleged kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murder of her parents confirmed to 27 News Patterson intends to plead guilty Wednesday in his felony case.

Earlier this month, KARE-TV reported Patterson sent a letter to a station reporter and wrote he would plead guilty to spare the Closs family more harm.

(27 News will stream the court hearing at 1 p.m. HERE.)

The source did not specify whether Patterson would enter guilty pleas to all four felony charges he faces.

When contacted by 27 News, Patterson’s attorney Charles Glynn declined to comment on Patterson’s intentions. A spokesperson for Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright also declined comment to 27 News.

The 21-year-old Patterson is scheduled for arraignment at 1 p.m. in Barron County Court.

Authorities say Patterson spotted Closs at a school bus stop in Barron, and then later went to her Barron home, fatally shooting James and Denise Closs and kidnapping the teenager Oct. 15, 2018.

Authorities say Patterson held the girl in a remote cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin for nearly three months, at times putting the teenager under a bed, positioning weights and other objects to try to prevent her from escaping. Closs did escape Jan. 10, with a passerby getting her to safety. Patterson’s car was pulled over later that day and he was arrested. Authorities say Patterson has confessed.

27 News will be at the hearing.  You can watch it on our Facebook page or


BARRON (WKOW) — The man accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents is scheduled to enter a plea Wednesday afternoon in Barron County court.

Jake Patterson is charged with two counts of homicide, plus kidnapping and armed burglary after the October incident.

In a letter earlier this month, Patterson claimed he would plead guilty to spare Jayme and the Closs family from a trial.

27 News will be at the hearing.  You can watch it on our Facebook page or

Patterson’s appearance is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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