MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jake Patterson, the Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents, will appear before a judge Wednesday afternoon.
He has an arraignment hearing scheduled at 1 p.m. in Barron County, where he is expected to enter a plea. His charges include two counts of murder, kidnapping and burglary.
Criminal defense attorney Lynne Torgerson, who read the criminal complaint outlining the evidence that led to the charges against Patterson, is convinced the case will not go to trial.
“This is a very unique case and there is no defense. The facts are pretty horrific,” Torgerson said.
She has no affiliation with the case, but her experience leads her to believe Patterson and his team will enter a not guilty plea Wednesday despite the fact that the 21 year old admitted to police how he abducted Closs from her home.
“There’s just a certain life to a case, and if the arraignment is extremely early, it would probably be irresponsible to allow your client to resolve it at that date, especially in a case this serious,” Torgerson said. “But ultimately it’s [Patterson’s] decision.”
She also does not expect Patterson to enter a plea of not guilty by mental defect. In the complaint, Patterson told investigators how he carefully covered his tracks to avoid detection, such as wiping down the shotgun shells used, wearing a mask and killing Closs’s parents to ensure there were no witnesses.
“All of that evidence, and there’s additional evidence, would negate any mental defect, knowing that it was wrong, ‘Couldn’t control myself at the time,’” Torgerson said.
New evidence could also come into play, specifically Patterson’s contact with reporters from jail. In a phone call with WCCO-TV, Patterson said he was regretful and didn’t want to cause any more trouble.
“Pretty serious action to have called a reporter and talked to them, and certainly a defense attorney’s nightmare,” Torgerson said.
She expects the arraignment to last up to five minutes. If Patterson pleads not guilty, she said a plea deal could be worked out in the coming weeks. If convicted of the murder charges alone, Patterson would face life in prison.