MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jake Patterson, who is charged with kidnapping Jayme Closs and killing her parents in Barron, Wisconsin, will appear in court Wednesday.
In this initial hearing, the judge decides if there is enough probable cause to push the case forward.
Criminal cases are handled differently in Minnesota than in Wisconsin.
In Minnesota, the defense team has access to full confessions, tapes all potential evidence right away. In Wisconsin, the defense attorneys don’t get that information until the initial hearing.
So, it’s possible the defense could waive tomorrow’s hearing and could be brief.
Attorney Eric Nelson works defense cases in western Wisconsin. This isn’t his case but he does have perspective, “It would be very unlikely but theoretically possible that Patterson would plead not guilty tomorrow but I would not expect that to happen because the defense team has not had time to see the evidence.”
Anderson believes Patterson will likely waive his right to Wednesday’s probable cause hearing, so his defense can examine the newly released evidence like search warrants of Jayme’s parents’ home, and the full taped confession of Jake Patterson. Nelson says, “The defense has probably not made any big decisions on how to attack this case because they don’t have anything.”
He says evidence is clearly mounting against Jake Patterson, between his confession and the firsthand account by Jayme who says Jake killed her parents and kept her captive under his bed.
Nelson says, “I would expect, reasonably expect, this case will resolve short of a trial. That being said, the stakes being so high, even if he has a 1 percent chance of winning a trial, he may take that, ’cause he has nothing to lose — nothing to lose.”
If the case does proceed toward trial, Patterson could still enter a plea at anytime.
If this case does happen to proceed to trial, Anderson says it’s likely the defense will ask to move the trial away from the small town of Barron.