BARRON, Wis. (WCCO) – Jake Patterson, the man convicted of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents, has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Patterson received two consecutive life sentences without parole for killing Jayme’s parents and the maximum of 40 years for kidnapping her. Jayme was held captive for 88 days before she managed to escape in January.

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Six of Jayme Closs’s family members gave highly emotional statements in court as Patterson sat in an orange jumpsuit, at times shaking his head. Jayme’s uncle, Mike Closs, talked about losing his brother James, sister-in-law Denise and not knowing what happened to his niece for 88 days. He described how the family lived in fear wondering if they, too, would be targeted.

“Because of this monster, Jayme won’t have her mom and dad at her dance recitals, won’t have her mom and dad at prom, homecoming dance. My brother won’t be able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day,” Mike Closs said.

Though Jayme was not in court, Attorney Chris Gramstrup read a statement on her behalf.

“I will always have my freedom and he will not. Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t,” Jayme’s statement read. “I felt like what he did is what a coward would do. He can never take away my spirit.”

“He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life. I will go on to do great things and he will not,” Jayme’s statement continued.

Sentencing began at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Barron County Government Center and lasted several hours. The state asked that Patterson spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.

The state asked that Patterson spend the rest of his life in prison without parole. Prosecutors played a 911 call from Denise Closs the night of the murders and kidnapping and talked about the terror Jayme and her mom endured. They also showed evidence taken from the cabin where Patterson kept Jayme and they recounted her courageous escape.

Watch full sentencing:


“Jayme should not have to spend one second of the rest of her life worrying about the defendant being free,” Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright said.

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Watch press conference following sentencing:


Patterson’s defense team said they understand he will spend his life behind bars but asked for the possibility of parole.

“Mr. Patterson understands, knows and has accepted … that he is going to die in prison and hasn’t asked us to argue for anything else,” one of his attorneys said.

“He was embarrassed, he was hurt, but he was willing to accept responsibility,” the attorney continued.

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Before his sentencing, Patterson also gave a statement.

“I would do absolutely anything to take back what I did, I would die, absolutely anything to bring them back. I don’t care about me. I’m just so sorry,” Patterson said.


Before bringing down the sentence, Judge James Babler said Patterson’s crimes were the most brutal and heinous he has ever seen.

“There is no doubt in my mind that you are one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Judge Babler said.

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In March, Patterson pleaded guilty to killing Jayme’s parents and kidnapping her in October.