Harris-Moore appears in Miami court

MIAMI — Colton Harris-Moore went before a federal judge in Miami on Wednesday for an identity hearing.

The Camano Island 19-year-old was wearing a tan jump suit, white socks and plastic sandals.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube set the matter over until Friday, giving the notorious fugitive more time to retain an attorney.

Harris-Moore told the judge in court Wednesday that he believed his mother had hired a lawyer but he didn’t know the man’s name.

“I’d like to speak with my mom first,” Harris-Moore said.

He said he last spoke to his mother, Pam Kohler, “about a week ago.”

Kohler has retained prominent Seattle defense attorney John Henry Browne. Browne made the rounds of national news talk shows after Harris-Moore’s arrest Sunday in the Bahamas.

It’s not clear if Harris-Moore has contacted Browne. The attorney didn’t return The Herald’s calls Wednesday.

On Sunday, the fugitive did call his aunt, Sandra Puttmann, of Arlington. She’s now being sought by national media, including CBS’s “Early Show,” with the clamor to learn more about the so-called “Barefoot Bandit.” Harris-Moore earned the nickname after reportedly running from crime scenes without shoes.

He is charged in U.S. District Court in Seattle, as well as in Island and San Juan counties, and in Nebraska. He’s a suspect in more than 70 crimes investigated by police in nine states and three countries. A U.S. District judge in Seattle issued a federal arrest warrant in December after the FBI linked him to a stolen plane that crashed near Granite Falls last fall.

Before the prisoner can be returned to the Pacific Northwest, a federal judge must officially confirm his identity. That hearing now is scheduled for Friday in Miami.

Harris-Moore’s two-year crime spree ended after he allegedly crashed a plane in the Bahamas on July 4. Police there arrested him early Sunday and deported him Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to a minor immigration charge.

He was fined $300, which was paid by the U.S. Embassy. Browne told reporters that Harris-Moore’s mother wired the funds to the embassy. In 2007, when Harris-Moore was arrested after a string of burglaries on Camano Island, his mother refused to bail him out.

Pam Kohler, Harris-Moore’s mother, said at the time she had a policy of not bailing out anybody.

Once the courts in Miami can officially confirm Harris-Moore’s identity, he’ll be scheduled to return to Seattle, a process that could take weeks.

Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437; jholt@heraldnet.com.

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