BARRON, Wis. — A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents, in a move that spares the girl held captive in a remote cabin for three months from the possible trauma of having to testify at his trial.
Jake Patterson, 21, sniffled and his voice caught as he pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped a count of armed burglary. Patterson faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced May 24; Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
Patterson had said he would plead guilty in a letter sent this month to a Minneapolis TV station, saying he didn't want the Closs family "to worry about a trial."