The Wisconsin man charged with kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and murdering her parents in October cried in court as he pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, was charged in January with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting deaths of James Closs, 56, and his wife, Denise, 46, as well as kidnapping.
Authorities said they believe Patterson targeted Jayme, who was found alive 88 days after she vanished, and did not know the teenager prior to abducting her from her family’s home in Barron, Wisconsin, on Oct. 15.
Patterson, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, appeared in a Barron County Court on Wednesday afternoon and answered “yes“ to a judge asking him if he wanted to plead guilty. As the judge read the charges, Patterson cried as he said he was guilty.
Jayme was found in January after escaping Patterson’s homein Douglas County, Wisconsin, about an hour north of where she lived. She has since been reunited with her family.
Earlier this month, Patterson sent a letter to NBC-affiliate KARE 11 in Minneapolis apologizing and revealing his plans to enter a guilty plea so Jayme and her family would not have “to worry about a trial.“
“The reason I did this is complicated,“ Patterson wrote in a letter to reporter Lou Raguse, who had sent him questions about the kidnapping. “No one will believe or can even imagine how sorry I am for hurting Jayme this much. Can’t express it.“
The outlet reported that Charles Glynn, Patterson’s lawyer, would not confirm or deny the letter and said he had not talked to his client about it.
When asked about his motivation behind the kidnapping, Patterson responded that it was “not black and white.“
“The cops say I planned this thoroughly, and that I said that,“ he wrote. “They’re really good at twisting your words around, put them in different spots, straight up lie. Little mad about that. Trying to cover up their mistakes I guess. This was mostly on impulse. I don’t think like a serial killer.“