BARRON, Wis. (WCCO) — For the first time, we’re hearing from the attorneys defending the man accused of abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs.
On Sunday night, they spoke at the Barron County Government Center.
Public Defenders Richard Jones and Charles Glynn didn’t share many specifics about their plans for 21-year-old Jake Patterson’s first court appearance on Monday, but they did sympathize with the community.
“This is a tragic situation from every perspective. A lot of heavy hearts, a lot of thoughts and prayers going around,” Glynn said. “You’ve seen how people have come together the last few months, there’s going to be a whole lot of healing that needs to go on in this community from every perspective, and we have all the faith in the world that will take place.”
Patterson’s attorneys say they met with Patterson Sunday night but did not say if their client has confessed to Jayme’s kidnapping or the killing of her parents. They said they have faith in the judicial system and expect to move forward with a fair trial.
Though Wisconsin allows a video appearance in court, Patterson’s attorneys say they will request Patterson appear in person given the severity of the case. Patterson is currently in a single cell at the Barron County jail.
We sat down with a local criminal defense attorney who walked us through what to watch for during Monday’s appearance.
“In Wisconsin, when you’re charged with first-degree murder it’s a life sentence and he’s going to have two charges plus the kidnapping charges,” Minneapolis Attorney Joe Tamburino said. “So tomorrow will be the initial appearance and the prosecutor could request he be held without bail for a short period of time – usually a couple of months – or request a large bail. It will be so high he’s not going to get out.”
Tamburino expects Monday’s initial appearance to take less than 15 minutes.
Jake Patterson may appear in-person or by video monitor.
Beyond setting bail, it’s a formal criminal complaint Tamburino says could be the most telling.
“What we will find out tomorrow is some of the surrounding facts – the allegations – because a prosecutor could put in the complaint as many facts as he or she wishes or as little,” Tamburino said.
Tamburino doesn’t believe the case against Patterson is anywhere near complete at such an early stage. So, details and more charges against him could come down the road.
“She’s a child and I doubt that investigators simply sat her down and questioned her for hours,” Tamburino said. “We have no idea if the complaint will be amended later on. I think this is an investigation in process and you’ll find out more and more as the case goes on.”