'Barefoot Bandit' pleads guilty to burglary

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Updated: May 8, 2013, 12:14 PM

 

MOUNT VERNON — The young man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” pleaded guilty to burglary Wednesday in a Washington state county court, perhaps closing the lengthy saga involving a run from the law in stolen cars, boats and airplanes.

Colton Harris-Moore, 22, acknowledged breaking into a small airport in Washington state in 2010 where he stole a plane during a two-year fugitive chase that ended in the Bahamas.

The guilty plea won’t change the time Harris-Moore will spend in prison. As part of a plea deal with the Skagit County prosecutor, he was sentenced to three months he has already spent in jail.

Harris-Moore pleaded guilty last year to theft in connection with the 2010 Anacortes Airport break-in as part of a bigger plea deal that resulted in a seven-year prison sentence, wrapping state and federal charges.

Superior Court Judge Michael Rickert said Wednesday he expected that this was the final court appearance in the case.

“Hopefully, this is the last page and last chapter in the Colton Harris-Moore story,” the judge said.

Rickert acknowledge Harris-Moore’s difficult childhood and lack of parental support that led him to start breaking into cabins and stores as a teenager and that ended with dozens of felony convictions

“This is the high cost of low living,” the judge said.

Rickert noted signs that Harris-Moore is changing, such as his work with a mentor.

Also, defense lawyer John Henry Browne said Harris-Moore had passed his high school equivalency General Educational Development tests with only three weeks of study.

“If you can fly an airplane by a manual,” the judge said, “I guess you can pass a GED in three weeks.”