The Gordon man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents last October will enter a plea next month.
Jake T. Patterson, 21, 14166 S. Eau Claire Acres Circle, appeared in person Wednesday in Barron County Court dressed in an orange jumpsuit, where he waived his preliminary hearing. Patterson told Judge James Babler that he understood the charges against him.
Babler bound Patterson over for trial and set an arraignment for 1 p.m. March 27. No trial dates were set. The entire hearing lasted about four minutes.
Patterson is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the deaths of James M. Closs and Denise J. Closs. He also is charged with kidnapping and armed burglary. He remains in jail on a $5 million cash bond.
At this point, it appears unlikely that Patterson will face additional charges in Douglas County, where he reportedly held Jayme Closs for 88 days until she escaped Jan. 10.
Patterson was arrested shortly after Jayme Closs escaped from his isolated home east of Gordon.
When interviewed by authorities, Patterson admitted to both the homicides and the abduction, saying “he never would have been caught if he would have planned everything perfectly.” Patterson told authorities that he was driving on U.S. 8 when he saw Jayme Closs for the first time. The Barron girl was getting on a school bus at the time. He instantly decided he wanted to kidnap her, according to the criminal complaint. He had no ties to the Closses.
The Closses were killed Oct. 15, when Patterson drove to their house and killed them each with a single shot.
After killing Denise Closs, Patterson taped her hands and ankles together and dragged her out to his car, where he placed her in the trunk, and drove her to the rural Gordon cabin.
Jayme told police that she was ordered to stay under his bed, and he placed heavy totes and laundry bins containing weights around it to keep her captive. He would have friends over, but she was ordered to be quiet or “bad things would happen to her.” He also “would turn music on in his room so she couldn’t hear what was happening if there was anyone else in the house with him.”
Jayme stayed under the bed for up to 12 hours at a time, with no food, water or bathroom breaks. Patterson got angry at her once and “hit her really hard on her back.”
On the day of Jan. 10, Patterson told her he was going to be gone for five or six hours, and he left the house. Jayme “stated she was able to push the bins and weight away from the bed and crawl out.”
Jayme approached Jeanne Nutter, a Strum woman who owns a cabin near Gordon. Jayme was wearing Patterson’s shoes, with them on the wrong feet. Nutter brought Jayme to a neighbor’s house, and they called 911.
When officers arrived, they immediately placed Jayme in a squad car to get her out of the area and to safety. Officers found Patterson, driving in a car, looking for Jayme. He was quickly arrested.
“(The deputy) reports he instructed Patterson to step out of the vehicle, and, as he did, Patterson stated ‘I know what this is about. I did it.’”