Just when you thought you’d seen the last of Colton Harris-Moore, he’s back, draped in drama once again.
Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich is pursuing a theft charge against Harris-Moore for stealing a plane from an Anacortes airport in 2010. However, he landed that plane in San Juan County. Prosecutors there took jurisdiction, and went along with a massive plea deal that landed the Barefoot Bandit in prison for 6.5 years.
“Fifteen prosecutors from across the country, two U.S. attorneys and two judges agreed that the sentence for this matter was appropriate,” said Harris-Moore’s attorney John Henry Brown. “The only person who disagreed was Mr. Weyrich."
Weyrich says he wasn’t aware of the San Juan plea agreement and never agreed to one himself. He wants the once notorious fugitive prosecuted locally for local crimes.
“Another county, without consulting us, took some of our charges and filed them as part of a plea bargain,” said Weyrich. “This surreptitious deal between the defense attorney and the San Juan County prosecutor turns the end of justice on its head.”
Prosecuting Colton Harris-Moore again could constitute double jeopardy. It’s quite possible the theft case will be thrown out by the judge. He could be convicted on a burglary charge connected to the airplane, but even that likely would not increase his sentence.
“If there’s not going to be any extra years or anything, then why go through with that,” asked resident Eric Stalcup.
Dimity O’Neil, a supporter of the prosecutor, added “It’s gonna cost a lot of money and he’s an elected official. It’s not gonna be a popular decision.”
When asked prosecuting Harris-Moore is a waste of money, Weyrich simply replied, “We don’t see it that way.”
John Henry Brown refused to enter a plea for the theft charge at Thursday’s arraignment, saying he will file a motion to have the charge dismissed.
The barefoot bandit stifled a smirk during the hearing - just one more chapter in his seemingly endless saga.