Jayme Closs Statement Read at Sentencing of Man Who Kidnapped Her

May 25, 2019 Updated: May 25, 2019

A statement by Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who was kidnapped in October 2018 after her parents were killed, was read at the sentencing of her abductor.

Jayme was not in the courtroom and the statement was read by her family’s attorney, Chris Gramstrup, reported Fox News.

“Last October, Jake Patterson took a lot of things that I loved away from me. It makes me the most sad that he took away my Mom and my Dad. I loved my Mom and Dad very much and they loved me very much. They did all they could to make me happy and protect me. He took them away from me forever,” she said.

“I felt safe in my home, and I loved my room and all of my belongings. He took all of that too. I don’t want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home were the most important things in my life. He took them away from me in a way that will always leave me with a horrifying memory.”

The home where 13-year-old Jayme Closs lived with her parents James and Denise in Barron, Wisconsin, on Oct. 17, 2018. (Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via AP)
The cabin where 13-year-old Jayme Closs was allegedly held by Jake Thomas Patterson is surrounded by law enforcement vehicles in the town Gordon, Wis. on Jan. 12, 2019. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

The teenager said she’s had her family install an alarm to make her feel safe enough to sleep and said she struggles to go out in public after what happened.

“But there’s some things that Jake Patterson can never take from me. He can’t take my freedom. He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter. I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not,” she added.

“Jake Patterson can never take away my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t. I feel like what he did is what a coward would do. I was brave. He was not.”

Jayme told the court that her kidnapper should “stay locked up forever.”

Jake Patterson walked into court for his sentencing in the murder of James and Denise Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on May 24, 2019. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)
Judge James Babler sentenced Jake Patterson to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of James and Denise Closs as well as 40 years for the abduction of Jayme Closs at the Barron County Justice Center in Barron, Wis., on May 24, 2019. (Renee Jones Schneider/Star Tribune via AP, Pool)

Patterson pleaded guilty to kidnapping Jayme and killing her parents. He received life sentences on May 24 for each count of murder and an additional 40 years for the abduction, meaning he will spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty, having abolished it in 1853.

Barron County Circuit Court Judge James Babler said Patterson’s crimes rank as the “most heinous and dangerous I’ve seen in the state of Wisconsin and perhaps the United States,” reported Fox 9.

“There is no doubt in my mind you are the most dangerous man to walk on this planet,” the judge said to Patterson.

The judge called Patterson “the embodiment of evil,” reported Reuters.

Jayme’s family said at a press conference after the sentencing that they were satisfied with the verdict. Before the sentence was issued, Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, said in court: “She lives in fear, doesn’t have a normal 13-year-old life, and that’s all from what you did. I won’t let you destroy our family no more. We can be happy.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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