Colton Harris-Moore – the young man best known as the notorious ‘Barefoot Bandit’ – is expected to plead guilty Friday in a Washington State courtroom to dozens of crimes, including stealing planes, boats and cars.
As RadarOnline.com has previously reported, Harris-Moore, 20, crisscrossed the United States during a two-year crime spree that ended only when he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010 and crash-landed it near a swamp. He earned his nickname by committing some of the crimes barefoot and for leaving images of a bare foot etched at some of his crime scenes.
Harris-Moore pleaded guilty in June to a variety of federal charges in connection with his crime spree in other states and abroad; Friday’s hearing in Island County Superior Court — not far from the rural, wooded island where he grew up — consolidates more than 30 separate felony crimes charged by state authorities.
Prosecutors will ask for a sentence of just under 10 years, while his lawyers are seeking a six-year term.
Just this week, Harris-Moore’s attorneys filed a massive package of psychiatric reports and witness interviews with the court, arguing that it was the young man’s troubled childhood - including an alcoholic mother who didn’t care for him – that led him to begin burglarizing nearby homes and businesses, often for food.
“Colton Harris-Moore is a bright, soft-spoken, shy young man whose mistakes, while certainly not excusable, are arguably explained at least in part by … the abuse, humiliation and neglect he endured throughout his childhood,” his defense lawyers, John Henry Browne and Emma Scanlon, wrote in a memorandum to the court.
Harris-Moore’s exploits gained him international fame and a Facebook page friended by thousands of people.
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For years, he’s been painted as a nefarious boy genius, joyriding in stolen planes, fleeing in speedboats across the high seas, eluding desperate cops in several states.
Colton Harris-Moore – best known as the so-called “Barefoot Bandit” - was actually a poor learner who suffered from depression and failed every subject in 5th grade — a victim of a nightmarish childhood of brutality, filth and neglect, according to the defense his lawyers were presenting Friday in a Washington courtroom.
Harris-Moore has “significant lifelong neurocognitive impairments” that a psychiatrist who evaluated him linked to his mother’s heavy drinking, violent outbursts, constant neglect and frequent relationship changes.
Harris-Moore, 20, was expected to plead guilty Friday to various charges of burglary, theft and trespassing across three counties in Washington state in a nearly two-year crime spree that eventually spread as far as the Bahamas.