UPDATE: An emotional Jake Patterson pleaded guilty in a Barron County courtroom Wednesday, admitting to kidnapping Jayme Closs after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, on October 15.
The 21-year-old Wisconsin man struck a plea deal to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping, with the understanding that the intentional homicide counts carry with them a life sentence in prison.
One count of armed burglary was dropped at Wednesday’s hearing, but was read before the court.
In exchange, the plea agreement states that charges will not be filed in Douglas County, where Patterson held Jayme Closs for 88 days.
According to the criminal complaint, Patterson told authorities he decided to “take” Jayme after seeing her get on a school bus near her home.
Patterson admits the kidnapping came after he killed Jayme’s parents, then holding her captive before she escaped in January.
In court Wednesday, his attorneys assured the judge Patterson made the choice of his own free will.
“He has always been consistent in his statements and beliefs that this is what he’s wanted to do,” Defense Attorney Richard Jones said.
Patterson says he agreed to the plea in order to spare Jayme and her family a trial.
Sentencing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 24th.
BARRON, Wis. (AP) – A man charged with kidnapping a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl and killing her parents is expected to enter a formal plea when he appears in court for an arraignment.
Jake Patterson wrote a letter to Minneapolis television station KARE saying he intends to plead guilty.
His attorneys and prosecutors have not commented ahead of Wednesday’s hearing. The 21-year-old is accused of killing James and Denise Closs and kidnapping their daughter, Jayme, on Oct. 15.
Jayme escaped in January.
Check back for a stream of Patterson’s court appearance at 1 p.m.