A Wisconsin man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents. The case ended with Closs making a daring escape from the remote cabin where she was held for 88 days.
Jake Patterson, 21, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one of kidnapping. Heafter killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, at the family's home near Barron, about 90 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Jayme escaped in January from Patterson's cabin near the small and isolated town of Gordon, some 60 miles from her home.
A judge sentenced Patterson to serve life in prison without parole, calling him "one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet." Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
In a statement read by an attorney, Jayme Closs, who was not present in court, said Patterson "took a lot of things away from me. It makes me the most sad he took away my mom and dad."
Closs said she used to love going to school, going out with friends and dancing, but Patterson also took those things away from her. She said she used to love her room and her belongings, but those all now bring back terrible memories because of Patterson. Going out in public, she said, now makes her scared and anxious.
But Closs also described what she said Patterson could never take from her: her freedom, courage and spirit.
"He thought he could own me, but he was wrong," Closs said in the statement. "I was smart. I watched his routine, and I took back my freedom."
Closs said Patterson thought he could control her, but she described his actions as cowardly. "I was brave, and he was not," the statement said. She said Patterson tried to make her "like" him, but failed.
"He will never have power over me," Closs said in the statement. "I feel like I have some power over him, because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him."
Closs said Patterson tried to "steal" her for 88 days, "and he didn't care who he hurt or who he killed to to that. He should stay locked up forever."
Speaking before he was sentenced, Patterson cried and apologized. "Obviously I would do, like, absolutely anything to take back what I did," Patterson said. "You know I would die...to bring them back. I'm don't care about me. I'm just sorry."