Judge orders another hearing for 'Barefoot Bandit'

AP News
Posted: Mar 21, 2013 8:21 PM
Judge orders another hearing for 'Barefoot Bandit'

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — A Superior Court judge on Thursday ordered a new court date for two charges being pursued against convicted "Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore.

Defense attorney John Henry Browne said he will file a motion to dismiss the two charges before the April 10 hearing.

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 with three 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.

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

The hearing on Thursday lasted less than a half-hour. Harris-Moore was handcuffed and wore a red prison shirt and pants.

He smiled slightly as he arrived 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.

Before the next hearing, Browne said, he will file a motion to dismiss the theft charges as a violation Harris-Moore's Fifth Amendment right against being prosecuted twice for the same crime.

The lawyer said he will file the motion to dismiss the burglary charge based on prosecutorial misconduct.

One reason 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 pled 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.


Ted Warren can be reached at http://twitter.com/tedswarren .