Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Answer: Colton Harris-Moore

Question: Who cannot be charged (again) for the theft of the Cirrus SR22 from Anacortes airport?

Oops goes the prosecutor… Not only did the Barefoot Bandit plead guilty to the federal crime of piloting the Anacortes Cirrus without an airman’s cert, the charge was also a last-minute addition to the collection of capers wrapped up in Colton’s Washington State plea deal. Since the plane landed on Orcas Island in San Juan County, our prosecutor out here, Randy Gaylord, added the crime under his jurisdiction.  

The good news for Colton is that this means Skagit County cannot try him for a crime he’s already pleaded guilty to and is serving time for.

Bad news for Colt is that Skagit filed two charges, one for the plane and another for breaking into the airport to get the plane. That charge was not included in the previous deal and could be prosecuted.

The airport charge, though, is burglary in the second-degree. First timers found guilty of this charge in Washington State usually don’t even go to jail. Folks with slight criminal records might get a few months. Colton, of course, has a book-length rap sheet at this point. The Skagit prosecuting attorney also asked for “exceptional” sentencing provisions, which means the judge could go above guidelines. In the big book (the one that they throw at you) most felony charges, including burglary 2, carry a ten-year max.

So the question is: When someone from Skagit County heads down to the court to take back the paperwork for the first degree plane theft charge, do they just quietly grab the entire packet and drop the whole thing? By filing a charge that will be dismissed due to double jeopardy statutes it shows that they haven’t spent too much time yet doing research on the case. If they release the other count, they can drop the risk that they’ll waste taxpayers’ money on a prosecution that seems likely not to add any time to Colton’s sentence.

As for the victims… presumably the Anacortes plane owners (or their insurance company) are already even on the restitution list. I’m checking that now.     

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