SEATTLE (AP) – The “Barefoot Bandit,” who led police on a two-year, cross-country crime spree in stolen boats, cars and planes, is facing new charges in Washington state.
Colton Harris-Moore is already serving a seven-year prison term after pleading guilty to state and federal crimes, but Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich filed theft and burglary charges this month against the 21-year-old, accusing him of stealing an Anacortes couple’s plane in 2010 and flying it to the airport on Orcas Island, 10 miles away.
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.
He sold the rights to his story to 20th Century Fox, with the proceeds going to repay the nearly $1.4 million he owes his victims.
Weyrich declined to join other Washington prosecutors in the plea deal filed in Island County Superior Court to resolve state charges against Harris-Moore.
“The crime was committed in Skagit County,” Weyrich said Wednesday.
The Skagit County prosecutor previously charged Harris-Moore, but dropped the accusations in 2011 to clear the way for the Island County plea deal. The charges were refiled on Feb. 8, and Harris-Moore will be transported from the Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen to Skagit County to face them.
Prosecutors are seeking an exceptional sentence against Harris-Moore, which would authorize the judge to impose a sentence above the standard range for the crimes. The charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. If he is convicted, some of the sentence could run at the same time as the one he’s already serving.
Harris-Moore’s attorney, John Henry Browne, did not learn of the new charges until Wednesday, when Harris-Moore called the office to say he’d been served with an arrest warrant from Skagit County.
“All the other prosecutors tried to get Weyrich to come along with the plea deal,” Browne said. “They all thought the sentence was fine, but I guess it’s not OK with Mr. Weyrich. I thought Colton Harris-Moore was supposed to be the juvenile here.”
Browne said that by declining to participate in the state plea deal, Weyrich had cut the Skagit County victims out of receiving restitution from any movie made about Harris-Moore. Weyrich said Wednesday he did not know whether that was true.
The Anacortes couple whose plane was stolen, Jeff and Linda Hendricks, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday. The plane sustained little damage.
Johnson can be reached at
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains