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Wyoming prosecutor holds out against Colton Harris-Moore plea deal

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By Jackson Holtz
Herald Writer
A prosecutor in Wyoming still plans to file charges against Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit."
Bryan Skoric, the prosecuting attorney in Park County near Yellowstone National Park, told a local paper he wasn't satisfied with the federal plea agreement Harris-Moore signed Friday.
"Our charges are still (pending), and he'll have to face the charges here in the state of Wyoming," Skoric said, according to the Powell Tribune newspaper.
Skoric didn't immediately return calls.
"Skoric is the lone holdout," said Emma Scanlan, one of Harris-Moore's defense attorneys.
Harris-Moore on Friday pleaded guilty to seven federal charges, including plane theft, boat theft, a bank burglary and weapons violations.
As part of the plea agreement, Harris-Moore admitted to a litany of "relevant conduct," a long list of burglaries, thefts and other crimes committed in eight states from Oregon to Indiana.
The list didn't include the Park County crimes.
Harris-Moore allegedly stole a pickup truck and broke into a roofing company near Cody during his multistate crime spree in 2010.
Police reportedly have DNA evidence linking Harris-Moore to the crimes.
The Camano Island man, 20, earned notoriety for a two-year crime spree. His story gained international attention, fueled in part by Harris-Moore's popularity on social media sites including Facebook, and by his unusual habit of running barefoot from his crimes.
When prosecutors outside of Washington agreed to have the crimes included in the federal plea agreement, they also set the way for Harris-Moore to repay the victims.
Harris-Moore must pay more than $1.4 million in restitution as part of the plea.
Since Skoric decided not have the Park County crimes included in the plea agreement, victims there may not be repaid, Scanlan said.
"Any potential restitution order entered in the Park County, Wyoming, case is almost guaranteed to go unfulfilled as it will be in line behind the federal order," she said.
It's not too late for the Park County victims to join the federal plea agreement, Scanlon said.
"If not, Park County can use its money and resources to transport Colton to appear in Wyoming for vehicle theft," she said.
The federal plea agreement was historic due to the number of jurisdictions that participated, said John Henry Browne, Scanlan's law partner.
It was meant to avoid a "traveling road show" of trials across the country, Browne has said.
Browne called Friday's plea agreement a "global settlement," but it now appears that at least one county refused to sign on.
Harris-Moore still faces more than 30 Washington state charges. He's expected to go before a judge in Island County Superior Court in Coupeville sometime this summer.
He faces up to a decade behind bars if convicted of the most serious offense, a October 2009 first-degree burglary near Granite Falls.
The Washington state cases are expected to be settled by a plea agreement.
Harris-Moore is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Seatac.
Sentencing for the federal crimes is scheduled for October.
Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3447;
Story tags » Camano IslandCrime

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