By Gene Johnson Associated Press
SEATTLE — “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore won’t have to serve any additional prison time for his two-year run from the law in stolen cars, boats and airplanes under a plea deal reached in Skagit County.
Harris-Moore is already serving a seven-year sentence after pleading guilty more than a year ago to federal and state charges stemming from his international crime spree.
Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich refused to participate in the negotiations which led to that deal. He said the prison term being discussed by the other prosecutors was too short, and that Harris-Moore should answer for his Skagit County crimes in a local courtroom.
This year, Weyrich brought new charges against Harris-Moore, who turned 22 in March.
The new charges — one count of burglary and one of theft — accused Harris-Moore of breaking into the Anacortes Airport in 2010, stealing a Cirrus airplane and flying it to Orcas Island in San Juan County.
It turned out, however, that Harris-Moore had already pleaded guilty to stealing the Cirrus airplane as part of his broader plea agreement. Skagit County could not prosecute him again with that same crime; to do so would violate his constitutional right against double jeopardy.
Weyrich has agreed to drop that theft charge when Harris-Moore pleads guilty to burglary in Skagit County on Wednesday, according to a copy of the plea deal. Weyrich agreed to a sentence of three months’ time served, meaning Harris-Moore will return to the state prison in Aberdeen to resume serving his seven-year sentence.
Harris-Moore’s lawyer, John Henry Browne, said it was inappropriate for Skagit County to file the new charges.
“It was vindictive on the part of Mr. Weyrich,” Browne said. “He was grandstanding and he burned his own grandstand down.
Weyrich didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Harris-Moore had been a headache for local law enforcement in Western Washington since boyhood, and by his late teens had taken to joyriding in airplanes as a self-taught pilot. He earned his moniker by committing some of his crimes without shoes.
In 2010, he hopscotched across Oregon, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois in stolen cars. He stole a plane in Indiana, crash-landed off an island in the Bahamas, and was arrested when police shot out the engine of a boat he took.
His crimes earned him international notoriety and a movie deal, the proceeds of which are being used to help repay his victims.