BARRON COUNTY (WKOW) — Jake Patterson, the man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, appeared in court Wednesday and waived his right to a preliminary hearing, with a Barron County Judge binding Patterson over for trial.
In a preliminary hearing, prosecutors would have had to show probable cause that Patterson committed the crimes, but Patterson chose to skip that process.
After saying he understood the charges against him, Patterson said he would like to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. He spoke in a clear voice, with his father and other loved ones in the court gallery.
Jayme Closs’ family members and other loved ones also attended the court hearing.
— Tony Galli (@galli_wkow) February 6, 2019
Patterson will next go to an arraignment hearing on March 27. There, all of the charges against Patterson will be read and he will be expected to enter a plea.
A woman named Sunshine with the non-profit group Bikers Against Child Abuse watched the hearing. She says Patterson struck her as possibly in need of treatment, despite his calm, courtroom demeanor.
“Troubled,” the woman said of Patterson. “And perhaps mentally ill himself.”
Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright declined to respond to a question from a 27 News reporter on whether he was prepared for a possible defense centered on Patterson’s mental health. Patterson’s attorneys were unavailable for comment after the hearing.
Authorities say Patterson spotted the teenage Closs at a school bus stop, then later went to her Barron home in October, killing her parents and forcibly taking the teen. They say Patterson kept the girl prisoner at a rural home in Gordon an hour away for nearly three months, barricading her under a bed at times, and threatening her. Closs escaped last month when Patterson was out of the home.