Jayme Closs Says Kidnapper 'Can Never Take My Courage' at Sentencing Hearing

Jake Patterson, 21, was arrested and is expected to be charged with the murders of James and Denise Closs, and the kidnapping of their daughter, Jayme Closs.
Barron County Sheriffs Department; Handout

At her kidnapper's sentencing hearing Friday, 13-year-old Jayme Closs declared that Jake Patterson "will never take my courage."

A victim impact statement from Jayme was read in court as the 21-year-old man who killed her parents and held her captive for 88 days learned his fate.

"I was smarter," Closs' statement read. "I watched his routine and I took back my freedom. I will always have my freedom and he will not. Jake Patterson can never take my courage. He thought he could control me, but he couldn’t."

Her statement continued: "I was brave and he was not. He can never take away my spirit. He can't ever change me or take away who I am. He can't stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life. I will go on to do great things in my life and he will not."

Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide after shooting and killing James and Denise Closs in their Wisconsin home on Oct. 15, 2018. He also pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping for taking Jayme and keeping her at his home until she escaped nearly three months later.

Patterson was sentenced to life in prison.

"I loved my mom and dad very much. ... He took them away from me forever," Closs' statement read. "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."

The teen said she's been dealing with the effects of her kidnapping since she returned home. It's hard for her to go out in public because she gets "scared" and "anxious." However, she said that Patterson "will never have any power over me."

"I feel like I have some power over him because I get to tell the judge what I think should happen to him. For 88 days he tried to steal me and he didn't care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever."


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