Jake Thomas Patterson on March 27 pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree intentional homicide and kidnapping related to an incident in which James and Denise Closs were fatally shot, and their daughter, Jayme, was kidnapped on October 15, 2018.
James and Denise were employees at the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant in Barron, Wisconsin.
Following that evening’s events, Jayme was missing for 88 days, having been held captive at a cabin about 70 miles from the Closs home. Jayme escaped on January 10 and requested help from a passer-by, who took her to a nearby home to call authorities. Patterson was arrested within hours of the call.
Patterson’s first court appearance took place on February 6 at the Barron County Circuit Court, where he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
While Patterson entered guilty pleas to the two homicide charges and the kidnapping charge, the court agreed to dismiss a fourth charge of armed burglary, reported the New York Times.
Patterson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the homicide charges, and 40 years for kidnapping.
Jayme is now safe and living with relatives.
During the time when Jayme’s whereabouts were unknown and a suspect was still at large, Jennie-O Turkey Store and its parent company, Hormel Foods, offered a $25,000 reward for the capture and conviction of a suspect.
Following her return to Barron, the company decided to donate that reward money to Jayme.
“First and foremost, Jennie-O Turkey Store is a family," Steve Lykken, Jennie-O Turkey Store president, said at the time. "Here in Barron our Jennie-O family is dealing with a very tragic situation. While we are still mourning the loss of longtime family members Jim and Denise, we are so thankful for Jayme's brave escape and that she is back in Barron. The company has expressed its wishes to donate the $25,000 to Jayme. Our hope is that a trust fund can be used for Jayme's needs today and in the future."