MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart says she’s “grateful” that Jayme Closs won’t have to go through the ordeal of a trial after the man accused of abducting her and killing her parents pleaded guilty in court.
On Wednesday, Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty in a Wisconsin court to murdering Closs’s parents, James and Denise, and kidnapping the 13-year-old in October.
Smart, who was kidnapped when she was 14 and held in captivity for nine months, issued a statement Thursday about how not having to go through a trial will help put the focus on healing for Jayme.
“I am grateful that she and her family will be able to avoid the challenges and distractions surrounding the legal process, and can dedicate their time and attention to continuing to heal,” Smart said.
Jayme was held captive for 88 days in a hunting cabin before escaping in January. Since then, Smart has visited Jayme’s home in Barron, Wisconsin, speaking to the community about moving forward.
Patterson faces two consecutive life sentences for the murder charges alone. He is slated to be sentenced on May 24.