(Reuters) - The family of 13-year-old Jayme Closs plans to make a statement before the man who kidnapped her and murdered her parents is sentenced for his crimes on Friday, according to a local media report.
Jake Patterson, 21, in March admitted to committing the October killings and abduction in Barron County, Wisconsin. He told investigators Closs "was the girl he was going to take" after he saw her get on a school bus. His motivations remain a mystery.
The 1:30 p.m. CDT (1830 GMT) sentencing in Barron County gives Patterson and his lawyers a final chance to explain why he shot the girl's parents at close range and then held the eighth grader for 88 days in his rural cabin.
Closs' family is expected to give a statement, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told Minnesota Public Radio.
"I can't believe I did this," Patterson said in a letter to KARE-TV in February, adding it was "mostly on impulse."
Patterson pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He faces a maximum of life in prison for each of the homicide counts and up to 40 years for the kidnapping, prosecutors said.
The crimes traumatized the close-knit community and the sentencing is a milestone in its recovery, Barron County School District superintendent Diane Tremblay said.
"(It) will hopefully bring a true finality to yet another dramatic reminder of this crime," Tremblay said in a statement.
Patterson, who was kicked out of the U.S. Marines after five weeks, pulled into the driveway of the Closs home in the early hours of Oct. 15.
Closs alerted her parents to the intruder and she and her mother hid in a bathroom. Her father, James, went to investigate.
Dressed in black with a face mask, Patterson shot the father through the front door with a shotgun, according to the criminal complaint.
He broke down the bathroom door, bound the girl with duct tape, then shot her mother. He put Closs in the trunk of his car and drove to his cabin in Gordon, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Barron, according to police.
Patterson, described by people who knew him as a quiet student, kept Closs locked in his room and barricaded her under his bed when he had guests, according to court documents.
On Jan. 10, when Patterson left the cabin, the girl escaped. A dog walker found her, neighbors called 911 and police subsequently arrested Patterson.
(Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Scott Malone, Jeffrey Benkoe, Susan Thomas and Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Updated Date: May 25, 2019 00:07:27 IST