Judge orders another hearing for ‘Barefoot Bandit’

MOUNT VERNON — A superior court judge in Washington ordered a new court date on Thursday for charges the Skagit County prosecutor is pursuing against “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore.

The next hearing on April 10 will be to consider dismissing the new charges, which are for a crime Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to in a 2011 plea deal with three counties, said his attorney John Henry Browne.

The youthful thief who gained international notoriety has acknowledged dozens of crimes and was sentenced to seven years in prison as part of a 2011 plea deal resolving charges against him in three Washington counties.

Among those crimes was first-degree theft for stealing a Cirrus airplane from Anacortes in Skagit County in February 2010 and flying it to Orcas Island in San Juan County.

In February, Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich, who refused to take part in the three-county plea deal, charged Harris-Moore with second-degree burglary for breaking into the Anacortes Airport and first-degree theft for taking the plane.

Thursdays’ hearing lasted less than a half hour. Harris-Moore wore red shirt and pants from prison. He was in handcuffs and those were chained around his waist. He smiled slightly as he arrived, but then stood with his head down most of the time, giving only basic answers to questions from Judge Michael Rickert. At times Browne showed him papers to read and sign.

One of the reasons the three counties pursued a joint plea deal with Harris-Moore was to get restitution as fast as possible for crime victims, including the owners of the airplane in the Skagit County charges, Browne said.

“I would assume the prosecutor would have dismissed the theft charge by now since Colton plead to it,” Browne told Q13 Fox outside the courtroom.

Weyrich has said he didn’t join the plea deal because he wanted Harris-Moore to answer for the Skagit County crimes in a local courtroom.

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