SEATTLE — There’s a problem with one of two new charges filed against “Barefoot Bandit” Colton Harris-Moore: He already pleaded guilty to it.
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.
Earlier this month, Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich, who refused to take part in the plea deal, charged Harris-Moore with second-degree burglary for breaking into Anacortes Airport, and first-degree theft for taking the plane.
Weyrich said he didn’t join the plea deal because he wanted Harris-Moore to answer for the Skagit County crimes in a local courtroom. Weyrich did not immediately return a call or an email seeking comment Monday.
Charging Harris-Moore with theft of the plane — a crime for which he’s already serving prison time — violates his Fifth Amendment right against being prosecuted twice for the same crime.
Harris-Moore has not previously pleaded guilty to breaking into Anacortes Airport, so there is no double-jeopardy issue with Skagit County pursuing the burglary charge.