Suspect in Jayme Closs case appears in court
(FOX 9) - Update: Jake Patterson, the suspect accused of kidnapping Jayme Closs and murdering her parents, pleaded guilty Wednesday.
The Wisconsin man accused of abducting Jayme Closs and killing her parents is expected back in court Wednesday to answer to the charges.
Jake Patterson has already confessed to investigators and indicated to several media outlets that he will plead guilty tomorrow to spare more harm for 13-year-old Jayme Closs. Legal experts say he most likely will go forward with that, but the 21-year-old does have the right to change his mind at the last minute.
The last time we heard from Jake Patterson was in early February when he waived his preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial.
Wednesday at 1 p.m., he will face a judge again.
“It is set for an arraignment tomorrow, which means you plead guilty or not guilty. So, I would suspect if he’s going to go the way he has been going, that he would plead guilty,” defense attorney Joe Tamburino said.
Tamburino, who is not associated with this case, said there are several important factors to be aware of heading into Wednesday's court proceedings.
“One, he made a confession at the beginning, a full confession. Two, he’s been confessing along the way, he’s talked to media outlets and said, ‘I did it.’ Three, he’s expressed an interest, a substantial interest in pleading guilty at the arraignment,” he said.
Patterson is charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary.
Authorities say he shot and killed James and Denise Closs on Oct. 15 and abducted Jayme, then held the teenager in the Douglas County town of Gordon for 88 days. She escaped on Jan. 10.
Prosecutors in Douglas County have declined to file additional charges due to "victim-related concerns." Any charges there would account for what happened during Jayme's captivity, which we know little about.
Tamburino does not believe a change of venue is needed, nor is there sufficient evidence for Patterson to plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
“In this case—the case in Barron County—even if it went to trial, the prosecutors don’t need Ms. Closs to testify; there is plenty of evidence plus the confession to get this case to a jury and to get a conviction,” he said.
Patterson faces mandatory life sentences if convicted on the homicide charges. The kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years, and the armed robbery count calls for a maximum 15-year sentence.
FOX 9 will be there and bring you the latest on this case.