June 09--The attorney representing Colton Harris-Moore says he is "within a day" of finalizing a plea agreement that will satisfy the dozens of jurisdictions where the so-called Barefoot Bandit is believed to have committed crimes during his years as a fugitive.
"A draft is on the table," lawyer John Henry Browne said Thursday after Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to a new federal indictment.
One of the final hurdles is an agreement over what will come of any money that Colton-Moore, 20, will make from movie and book deals about his escapades.
"Whether the government wants it or not, there will be a movie. There will be more books. And there will be money from them," Browne said.
Federal prosecutors have said they will seek forfeiture of anything Harris-Moore makes in connection with his crimes.
Browne reiterated that Harris-Moore "does not want to make a dime" off his crimes and intends for any proceeds to go toward paying restitution, which Browne said is in the range of $1.5 million.
The agreement, Browne said, will also include Harris-Moore pleading guilty to a number of federal as well as state charges, likely to be consolidated in Island County, and serving most of his time in state prison. It's probable that his state and federal sentences would be served concurrently, Browne explained.
He said the federal charges would satisfy other states where Harris-Moore committed crimes, including Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Darwin Roberts declined to comment.
Browne announced the deal after Harris-Moore's arraignment in U.S. District Court in Seattle on new federal charges contained in a superseding indictment two weeks ago. Harris-Moore pleaded not guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian Tsuchida. Trial remains set for July 7.
Harris-Moore is facing federal charges of bank burglary, interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft, interstate and foreign transportation of a stolen firearm, being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, piloting an aircraft without a valid airman certificate, interstate transportation of a stolen vessel, as well as the bank burglary.
The bank burglary charge, which was added two weeks ago, carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Harris-Moore also faces more than two dozen state charges in Island and San Juan counties.
His alleged crime spree began in Island County shortly after he escaped from a Renton halfway house in April 2008.
Police dubbed him the Barefoot Bandit because bare footprints were found at several scenes where he's suspected of committing crimes. In the San Juan Islands, chalk-outlined feet were found on the floor of a burglarized grocery.
For nearly two years, Harris-Moore evaded capture while committing a string of break-ins and thefts, according to law enforcement.
He allegedly stole several aircraft, including a Cessna taken in Idaho in September 2009 that crashed near Granite Falls. He is also accused of stealing a plane in Indiana and crash-landing it July 4 in the Bahamas, where he was captured a week later after a high-speed boat chase off Eleuthera, a sparsely populated tourist island where he was accused in a string of burglaries.
Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or email@example.com
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
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