Barefoot Bandit makes final court appearance, releases hand-written letter


MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -  The so-called Barefoot Bandit is on his way back to federal prison after making a plea deal in his international crime spree that started in Western Washington.

 The 22-year-old has been in jail in Mount Vernon for months in connection with a theft and burglary charge.

 The highly criticized case was finally resolved Wednesday.

Colton Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to breaking into an Anacortes airplane hangar during his infamous crime spree three years ago.

 He was also charged with stealing a plane and crashing it on Orcas Island.

 Prosecutors dropped that charge because it was part of the massive plea deal Harris-Moore took in exchange for a 6-1/2 year sentence.

 Attorneys bickered for months about bringing Harris-Moore back to Skagit County to face the charges, which wasn’t ignored by the judge.

 “It certainly puts to rest a lot of yelling and screaming and accusations and histrionics and grandstanding and so on and so forth by both sides,” he said.

 Harris-Moore was facing more than six years in prison on the charges, but he was only given three months in order to resolve the case.

  Harris-Moore has already served that time while waiting to go to court.

 The appearance wrapped up state and federal charges for his two-year run from the law in stolen cars, boats and airplanes that ended in the Bahamas.

 Harris-Moore will be transferred back to the state prison facility in Aberdeen to serve the rest of his sentence.

On Thursday, Lance Rosen, an attorney who has worked with Colton Harris-Moore since soon after his arrest, released a hand-written statement from Harris-Moore.

"I received (the statement) from Colton during one of my recent Skagit County Jail visits with him while he was awaiting trial," Rosen said. "He gave it to me with the request I include it in a letter I had told him I would write to the Skagit County judge depending on how events unfolded in his case. When I learned of the favorable plea agreement worked out by John Henry Browne with the Skagit County prosecutors, there was no need for a letter from me. Colton told me today that he had intended to speak this statement out loud in court yesterday morning. Those at the hearing may recall that at the very top when the Judge asked if he had anything to say, Colton replied 'Not at this time, Your Honor.' Colton thought he’d be asked again later in the process when sentencing was about to be imposed, but the hearing ended without that opportunity. He asked me to release his statement today on his behalf to offer a public expression of his gratitude for the kindnesses and support he has received from so many good people. He has been amazed and inspired."