Statement of Jayme Closs at sentencing for abductor

By The Associated Press
BARRON, Wis. (AP) — Jayme Closs’ statement at Friday’s sentencing for Jake Patterson, the 21-year-old man who killed her parents and kidnapped her last October, holding her captive for 88 days before she escaped. Closs did not appear in court, and her statement was read in court by family attorney Chris Gramstrup:
“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.
“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.
“I have to have an alarm in the house now just so I can sleep. I used to love to go out with my friends. I loved to go to school. I loved to do dance. He took all of those things away from me too. It’s too hard for me to go out in public. I get scared and I get anxious. These are just ordinary things that anyone like me should be able to do, but I can’t because he took them away from me.
“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.
“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.
“He can never take away my spirit. He thought that he could make me like him, but he was wrong. 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.
“Jake 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. He stole my parents from me. He stole almost everything I love from me. 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.”

As special session convenes, House Democrats look to 2020

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Legislature convened Friday for a special session to finish crafting a $48 billion, two-year state budget, with House Republicans threatening to draw out the proceedings because of their objections to the way top leaders negotiated the bills in a rush behind closed doors.
But House Democrats were already looking ahead to next year’s session and how they might turn Republicans’ stalling on key priorities against them in next year’s election.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Democrats “fought until the very last minute” to include some of their top priorities in the final bills but ran out of time before Monday’s mandatory adjournment for the regular session. She cited driver’s licenses for immigrants living in the country illegally, making it easier for workplace sexual harassment victims to sue and making emergency insulin supplies more affordable.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said they could raise their issues again next year — and use them against Republicans in the 2020 campaign when they hope to hold the House and retake the Senate. He cited gun control, paid family and medical leave and some education measures.
“We feel like we’ve made some progress this year and we have marked out where we want to go in the future,” Winkler said.
Hortman acknowledged that the end of a session can be a “pretty crazy, frantic time” but put a positive spin on the marathon closed-door budget talks she participated in with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.
“We will enact a two-year budget for the state of Minnesota that has really strong funding for our schools, and secures the health care for more than a million Minnesotans,” Hortman said.
GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt told reporters just before the House convened that his caucus had no plans to supply enough votes to suspend the normal procedural rules so that the session could be limited to just one long day as Walz had hoped. That was after Hortman said it would run Friday, Saturday and Sunday if Republicans didn’t cooperate.
But House Republicans did not object to suspending the rules so they could pass the first two bills of the special session and send them to Walz for his signature. One bill funds agriculture, rural development and housing programs. The other funds clean water, habitat and arts programs. Both passed by wide margins. Deputy Minority Leader Anne Neu said her members had enough time to study the bills before voting.
Under the Legislature’s normal rules, bills have to be given their first, second and third readings on separate days before a final vote. Suspending those rules would require 15 House GOP votes.
Similarly, a $500 million public works borrowing package known as bonding bill — part of the deal that Walz, Hortman and Gazelka announced Sunday — would need six GOP votes to pass the House. The contents of that bill had not been made public as of Friday. Daudt didn’t say whether any Republicans would support it.
In contrast to House Republicans, Democrats in the GOP-controlled Senate agreed to suspend the rules and pass the first two bills of the special session.
Gazelka then thanked Democratic Minority Leader Tom Bakk, saying “we can’t do it unless we do it together.”

The Latest: Jayme Closs’ family satisfied with sentence

BARRON, Wis. (AP) — The latest on the sentencing hearing for a Wisconsin man accused of kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents (all times local):
5:05 p.m.
The family of Jayme Closs says they are satisfied that the man who kidnapped her and killed her parents will be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Jake Patterson was sentenced Friday to life in prison without release. He had previously pleaded guilty to the Oct. 15 killings of James and Denise Closs and to Jayme’s abduction.
Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, said after the sentencing that this was an important step in helping Jayme to move forward. She said the family believes the outcome will give Jayme some “much needed peace of mind.”
Smith said Jayme has made progress, but has much work left to do. She has spent time with her friends, is doing homework, and hanging out with her dog.
Prosecutor Brian Wright says the case has always been about the courage of a 13-year-old girl who overcame incredible odds to escape and return home.
3:50 p.m.
The Wisconsin man who abducted 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killed her parents wrote that he fantasized “about keeping a young girl, torturing her and controlling her.”
Jake Patterson’s writings were summarized by Judge James Babler shortly before he sentenced Patterson to life in prison without any chance of release.
Babler said Patterson had written that “fear of hell” initially stopped him, but he stopped believing in God and began looking for an opportunity. Patterson wrote that he drove around looking for a girl to take but soon realize that wouldn’t work, then conceived of doing it in a home invasion.
Patterson told investigators he carefully planned and carried out his attack in October on the Closs family home near Barron.
Babler called Patterson “the embodiment of evil.”
3:35 p.m.
A Wisconsin man will spend the rest of his life in prison for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents.
Twenty-one-year-old Jake Patterson was sentenced Friday in Barron County. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He admitted to abducting Jayme in October and killing her parents, James and Denise Closs.
The teen was held captive in a remote cabin for 88 days before she escaped.
Patterson was sentenced to life in prison without release on each homicide count and 25 years in prison on the kidnapping count. The sentences will be served consecutively.
3 p.m.
A prosecutor says a Wisconsin man who kidnapped 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killed her parents should never be released from prison.
Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright told a judge during Jake Patterson’s sentencing hearing Friday that Patterson would never stop trying to find and possibly kill Jayme if he gets out of prison.
He said Patterson can never get another opportunity to kidnap another girl and kill her or anyone with her.
Patterson’s attorney, Charles Glynn, countered that Patterson has pleaded guilty to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping to spare the community a long, painful trial and allow the Closs family to heal.
Patterson is accused of abducting Jayme from her home near Barron after killing James and Denise Closs in October. He held Jayme captive in a remote cabin for 88 days before she escaped.
This item has been updated to correct that commenting defense attorney is Charles Glynn, not Richard Jones.
2:10 p.m.
Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs says she wants to see the man who kidnapped her and killed her parents “locked up forever.”
Jayme’s words were read Friday at the sentencing hearing for Jake Patterson. The 21-year-old admitted kidnapping her and killing her parents in a carefully planned attack last October.
The 13-year-old didn’t appear in court Friday, but her guardian read a statement from her.
Jayme wrote that Patterson “thought that he could own me, but he’s wrong. I was smarter.”
Patterson held Jayme for 88 days at his isolated northern Wisconsin cabin before she escaped.
She says Patterson “thought he could make me like him. But he was wrong.” She also said Patterson “will never have any power over me.”
1:50 p.m.
Members of Jayme Closs’ family are asking a Wisconsin judge to sentence the man who kidnapped her and killed her parents to the maximum amount of time in prison.
Twenty-one-year-old Jake Patterson pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
He admitted to abducting Jayme from her home near Barron after killing James and Denise Closs, in October. He held Jayme captive in a remote cabin for 88 days before she escaped.
Jayme’s aunt Sue Allard began a sentencing hearing Friday by telling the judge that she fell to the ground and screamed when she got learned Jayme had vanished and her parents were dead. She says Jayme lost everything.
Aunt Jennifer Smith said Jayme no longer has a 13-year-old’s life. She says her family lives in fear every day.
8 a.m.
A Wisconsin man could spend the rest of his life behind bars for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents.
Twenty-one-year-old Jake Patterson pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He admitted to abducting Jayme after killing her parents, James and Denise Closs, in October.
Jayme was held captive in a remote cabin for 88 days before she escaped.
A judge will sentence Patterson on Friday. He faces up to life in prison without release on each homicide count, and up to 25 years in prison on the kidnapping count. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
Members of Jayme’s family are expected to speak at Friday’s hearing. Patterson also has the option of addressing the court.

Wisconsin man who kidnapped Jayme Closs gets life in prison

BARRON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin man was sentenced Friday to life in prison for kidnapping 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents after the girl told the judge that she wanted him “locked up forever” for trying to steal her.
Jake Patterson, 21, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping. He admitted he broke into Jayme’s home in October, gunned down her parents, James and Denise Closs, made off with her and held her under a bed in his remote cabin for 88 days before she made a daring escape.
Jayme didn’t appear at Patterson’s sentencing hearing Friday, but a family attorney read her first public statements about her ordeal to Judge James Babler.
“He thought that he could own me but he was wrong. I was smarter,” the statement said. “I was brave and he was not. … He thought he could make me like him, but he was wrong. … 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 be locked up forever.”
The judge called Patterson the “embodiment of evil” before sentencing him to consecutive life sentences without the possibility of release on the homicide charges. He also ordered Patterson to serve 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision on the kidnapping count.
“There’s no doubt in my mind you’re one of the most dangerous men to ever walk on this planet,” Babler said.
Patterson sat shaking his head during most of the hearing. Offered a chance to speak, he said he would do anything to take back what he did.
“I would die,” he said. “I would do absolutely anything … to bring them back. I don’t care about me. I’m just so sorry. That’s all.”
The judge read statements that Patterson wrote in jail in which he said he had succumbed to fantasies about keeping a young girl and torturing and controlling her. He started looking for an opportunity to kidnap someone, even deciding he might want to take multiple girls and kill multiple families, according to the statements. Jayme was the first girl he saw after these thoughts entered his mind, he said.
Patterson’s attorneys, Richard Jones and Charles Glynn, told the judge that Patterson was isolated and that he overreacted to loneliness. They asked for leniency for Patterson, noting that he had pleaded guilty to spare Jayme and her family from a trial.
According to a criminal complaint, Patterson was driving to work in October when he spotted Jayme getting on a school bus near her rural home outside Barron, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Minneapolis. He decided then that “she was the girl he was going to take.”
District Attorney Brian Wright told the judge that Patterson traveled to the Closs home on two separate occasions to kidnap her but turned back because of activity at her house.
He finally drove to the house during the early morning hours of Oct. 15 dressed in black and carrying his father’s shotgun. He shot James Closs through a window in the front door, blasted the lock and moved inside.
He found the bathroom door locked. He broke the door down and discovered Jayme and her mother clinging to each other in the bathtub. He tied Jayme up with tape, then shot Denise Closs in the head as she sat next to her daughter.
He dragged Jayme through her father’s blood and out to his car. He threw her in the trunk and drove her to his cabin in Gordon in Douglas County, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Barron.
He kept her trapped under a bed using totes filled with weights and hit her with a curtain rod, Wright said.
“He kept her in constant fear, threatening her, telling her things would get worse,” Wright said.
Jayme finally escaped on Jan. 10 while Patterson was away. She flagged down a neighbor, who found someone to call police. Patterson was arrested minutes later as he returned to the cabin.
Patterson was also ordered to register as a sex offender, which under Wisconsin law may be required both for an actual sex offense or an attempted sexual offense. Details of Jayme’s time in captivity have not been released, and no charges were brought by prosecutors in the county where she was held.
Richmond reported from Madison.
Check out AP’s complete coverage of Jayme Closs’ abduction and her parents’ deaths.
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Twins continue to roll in 11-4 win over White Sox

By Dave Campbell
AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eddie Rosario went 4 for 5 with three RBIs and one of Minnesota’s three home runs in another power-packed romp by the major league-leading Twins, who beat the Chicago White Sox 11-4 on Friday night for their ninth win in their last 10 games.
Max Kepler was 3 for 4 with four RBIs and a homer and Miguel Sanó also went deep for the Twins (34-16), who reached double-digit runs for the fourth time in their last eight games and became only the second team in baseball history to hit the 100-homer mark in just 50 games. They have the most runs (300) in the majors.
Jose Berrios (7-2) was the latest beneficiary of the big swings, after falling behind 4-1. Rosario tied the game in the third with his 15th homer. Two batters later, Sanó swatted a 2-2 changeup from Reynaldo López (3-5) into the seats for his fifth long ball in seven games this season since coming off the injured list.
Tim Anderson went 3 for 3 and Yonder Alonso drove in two runs for the White Sox.
The Twins arrived home from a seven-game West Coast road swing extended by one day due to a rare California rainout in good spirits and in even better shape in the standings, winning three out of four in Seattle against the Mariners before sweeping the Los Angeles Angels. After outscoring their opponents 67-27 during the trip, the Twins built an eight-game lead in the American League Central over three-time defending division champion Cleveland. The Indians won Friday to keep pace.
If there was a nit to pick, that was in the second when shortstop Jorge Polanco sidearmed a throw to first base after fielding a routine grounder by Eloy Jimenez and watched it sail over C.J. Cron’s head for an error. That triggered a four-run inning against Berrios, though three of them were unearned.
The last three starts by Berrios have been his worst three of 11 turns, with 29 hits and 13 runs allowed over 17 innings.
Seattle, with 600 home run club members Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez in the lineup in 1999, was the only team in history to reach triple-digit homers in 50 games, with 102, until the Twins joined them. The major league season record was set by the New York Yankees last year with 267.
Lucas Giolito’s four-hit shutout that beat powerhouse Houston on Thursday, his first career complete game, didn’t create any momentum for López. The right-hander failed to finish the fourth inning, allowing eight runs for the second time this season and pushing his ERA to 6.03. López allowed only two earned runs over his last two turns, but Giolito has been a tough solo act to follow. Even factoring in his 6-1 record and 2.77 ERA, White Sox starters entered the game with the second-worst ERA and the second-most walks in the American League.
White Sox: Catcher Welington Castillo took a foul ball off the top of his mask in the eighth inning and was removed from the game.
Twins: DH Nelson Cruz was eligible for reinstatement from the injured list, but the Twins opted for caution with his strained left wrist.

McCowan’s layup at buzzer lifts Fever to win over Liberty

NEW YORK (AP) — Teaira McCowan’s layup at the buzzer lifted the Indiana Fever to an 81-80 win over the New York Liberty on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Trailing by one after Tina Charles made two free throws with seven seconds left, Candice Dupree drove the lane and dished it off to McCowan, who laid it in just before the buzzer sounded. The officials did a quick video review confirming the basket counted. Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 22 points. Her free throw with 2:16 left in the game gave Indiana a 79-78 lead. Neither team could score until the final seven seconds.
Tina Charles, who had 32 points and 12 rebounds, hit two free throws after she was fouled on a rebound with seven seconds remaining that gave New York a 1-point lead.
McCowan, who was the Fever’s first round pick, finished with 11 points.
Indiana got off to a rough start, missing its first eight shots before Shenise Johnson’s layup nearly 5 minutes into the game. Johnson sat out last year while recovering from an ACL tear suffered in 2017 and then a hamstring injury. Indiana built a 39-33 lead at the half despite 16 points by Charles. The lead grew to 54-42 with 3:19 left in the third before Reshanda Gray and Bria Hartley rallied New York, which scored 18 of the final 20 points to end the period. Gray’s putback with three seconds left capped the run and made it 60-56 for the Liberty.

Mets reach minor league deals with Kemp, Santana

By Mke Fitzpatrick
AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Looking to replenish their depth, the banged-up New York Mets agreed to minor league contracts Friday with veteran outfielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Ervin Santana.
Each move is pending a successful physical, and both players are expected to report to the club’s spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The 34-year-old Kemp, who made his third All-Star team last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was released May 4 by Cincinnati. He batted .200 with a home run and five RBIs for the Reds and had been sidelined since April 23 with a broken left rib.
The 36-year-old Santana, a two-time All-Star, became a free agent on April 29, three days after he was designated for assignment by the White Sox, who signed him for a $4.3 million salary this year. He was 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts for Chicago this season.
“It’s just another depth piece for us and one that has some upside to it, because when he gets rolling, he can be a pretty good pitcher,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “I’ve been around him a lot, and he can pitch. When he has that slider going, it’s pretty tough.”
New York has 11 players on the injured list, including four outfielders and five pitchers.
Missing from the outfield are regulars Michael Conforto (concussion), Brandon Nimmo (stiff neck) and Jeff McNeil (left hamstring tightness). Longtime big leaguers Carlos Gómez and Rajai Davis were called up from Triple-A Syracuse within the past week to help fill those holes.
New York also claimed outfielder Aaron Altherr off waivers from San Francisco on Thursday. He was added to the active roster and was on the bench for Friday night’s series opener against Detroit. Left-handed reliever Ryan O’Rourke was optioned to Syracuse.
Conforto was eligible to come off the seven-day concussion list Friday but was not reinstated. He took batting practice on the field and has been feeling good after going through baseball activities recently, Callaway said.
The Mets are just waiting for Conforto to be cleared by Major League Baseball and they hope that will happen this weekend. After that, he could be plugged right back into the lineup, Callaway said.
Another injured outfielder is Yoenis Céspedes, expected to miss the entire season after having ankle surgery Thursday. The team said Céspedes sustained multiple fractures to his right ankle in an accident on his Florida ranch. Céspedes hadn’t played this season while recovering from surgery on both heels.
Kemp is a .285 career hitter with 281 homers, 1,010 RBIs and an .822 OPS in 14 major league seasons with the Dodgers, Padres, Braves and Reds. He batted .290 with 21 homers and 85 RBIs in 146 games for Los Angeles last season.
Santana is 149-127 with a 4.09 ERA in 15 major league seasons with the Angels, Royals, Braves, Twins and White Sox. The right-hander went 16-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 211 1/3 innings for Minnesota in 2017, when he made the AL All-Star squad and led the league with five complete games and three shutouts. He had an 8.03 ERA in five starts with the Twins last year.
“We all know what Ervin Santana’s done in his career,” Callaway said. “Great clubhouse guy. I know him pretty well. He’s had a ton of success at the major league level. Having said that, we’ve got to evaluate where he’s at. So to say he’d be just a starter or a bullpen guy, we really can’t predict that at this moment.”

Proposed ND wind farm to move to new location

BISMARCK (AP) — A proposed North Dakota wind farm is being moved to another part of the state after a new developer bought out the project.
NextEra Energy Resources is planning to move the 70-turbine project to Emmons and/or Logan counties, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The specific location hasn’t been determined, but the Florida-based energy company wants to relocate near its Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center. The center, which is under construction, will bring up to 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton.
PNE Wind USA sold its interest in the project to NextEra. The project was originally proposed for Burleigh County, where commissioners had denied special use permits for the project.
PNE dropped its appeal after selling off the project.
NextEra said the company decided to move the project after speaking to community leaders.
“We look forward to developing this project and providing affordable, home-grown energy in North Dakota for years to come,” the company said in a statement.
Dave Nehring, who owns land near Bismarck, had opposed the wind farm.
Nehring said he welcomes the move because the former location would’ve been disruptive to wildlife and natural resources.

Child who survived mall plunge undergoing further procedures

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The family of a 5-year-old boy who survived after being thrown from a third-story balcony at the Mall of America in Minnesota says he will undergo further medical procedures.
The Woodbury family posted Thursday evening on a GoFundMe page that the procedures are “non-life threatening complications” related to the fall. The boy, named Landen, plunged 40 feet when he was randomly grabbed by Emmanuel Aranda and tossed over the railing. Aranda has pleaded guilty to attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the April 12 attack. Landen suffered head trauma and multiple broken bones.
The family’s post says Landen is recovering, his spirit is strong, but there is still a long road of recovery ahead.
The GoFundMe site has raised more than $1 million over the past month.

Judge axes 3 of 4 lawyers in NFL concussion case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The federal judge overseeing the $1 billion NFL concussion settlement has terminated three of four lawyers serving as class counsel.
The surprise order Friday afternoon comes just weeks after a hearing to air complaints about new rules that limit the doctors who can evaluate retired players for dementia and other brain injuries.
Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she imposed the 150-miles-from-home rule to thwart doctor shopping and potential fraud alleged by the NFL as the more than $1 billion settlement fund is disbursed.
She has named New York lawyer Christopher Seeger as the only attorney left who can handle issues on behalf of the 20,000-member class.
Outgoing class counsel Gene Locks tells The Associated Press the order Friday “extinguishes any remaining hope” that clients will be protected as they move through the contentious medical testing and award process.
He told Brody at a hearing this month that there aren’t enough qualified neurologists, neuropsychologists and subspecialists taking part in the program to meet the close-to-home rule.
“This court has been told, many times, in motions and in camera (chambers), factual arguments from the NFL that have been exaggerated and intended to limit their obligations to the players,” Locks said.
He said the order Friday is in keeping with Brody’s denial of repeated motions filed by anyone other than Seeger.
“At this point, (it) extinguishes any remaining hope that the individual interests of the class members will be adequately protected,” Locks told the AP.
Seeger, in a statement, vowed to “continue to fight on behalf of former players and their families to ensure that they receive every benefit they deserve under the settlement.”
Lawyers involved in the long-running case are meanwhile splitting more than $112 million in fees, with the lion’s share going to Seeger’s firm. He was not one of the first to bring suit against the NFL, but became a lead lawyer in the secret negotiations that led to a surprise 2013 settlement. The players’ lawsuits had alleged the NFL long hid what it knew about the neurological risks of playing after concussions.
The fund is meant to last for 65 years. The awards in the first two years of payouts alone reached $500 million this month, while another $160 million in awards have been approved but not yet paid.
The plan offers retired players baseline testing and compensation of up to $5 million for the most serious illnesses linked to football concussions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and deaths involving chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Of the 872 awards paid to date, the average is just under $575,000, according to a claims administrator’s report this month.