Boeing worker Jonathan Standridge is mentoring Colton Harris-Moore:
While he declined to get into some specifics about their conversations, Standridge said Harris-Moore badly wants to get a pilot’s license and hopes one day to design prototype aircraft. Harris-Moore has said he wanted to get an aeronautical engineering degree while in prison. They talk about planes, corporate governance, management techniques, body language, and books – Steve Jobs’ authorized biography was a favorite of Harris-Moore’s, he said.
U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones’ sentence runs concurrently with an earlier 7 1/2-year sentence imposed by a state court in Washington for his crimes under state law. Those offenses included a series of burglaries and thefts that terrorized citizens in several states as the brazen fugitive kept two steps ahead of the law. […]
Prompted by the judge to share his advice to the thousands of admirers around the world who followed his exploits while on the lam, Harris-Moore downplayed the emails he has written from jail in which he described his aviation exploits as “amazing.”
“I would say that the things I did some, I think, thought was perhaps cool, we’re extremely dangerous and terrifying,” he said. “It wasn’t as if I just jumped in a plane barefoot and started flying around. I feared for my life in those situations.”
As part of that agreement, Harris-Moore forfeited his ability to profit from the rights to his life story. He also signed a movie deal with 20th Century Fox earmarking $1.3 million in proceeds as restitution to his victims.
He still faces up to 6-1/2 years in prison when he is sentenced in January in federal court.
But that sentence is to be served concurrently with the state prison term that Superior Court Judge Vickie Churchill decides on Friday, after Harris-Moore pleads guilty to 33 charges total from Island, Snohomish and San Juan counties.
I’m finishing up The Barefoot Bandit, which is the feature on Colton Harris-Moore. So I’ve been spending a lot of time in Seattle. That’s almost done. And what an amazing kid. There’s so much that people don’t know about him yet. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring. It’s been a very emotional journey for me.
The U.S. government now owns the story of Colton Harris-Moore, the gawky delinquent thief and burglar who will cool his heels in prison while a movie about his exploits as the “Barefoot Bandit” appears headed for a theater near you.
The 20-year-old Harris-Moore pleaded guilty to seven federal felony charges Friday in a plea agreement that recommends he serve between 5 ¼ and 6 ½ years in prison to resolve the federal aspects of his two-year crime spree, including the thefts of two airplanes and a boat and being a fugitive in possession of a firearm.
Harris-Moore is pleading not guilty to federal charges:
“Barefoot bandit” suspect Colton Harris-Moore, the teen accused in a two-year spree of sometimes-shoeless burglaries and thefts, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of interstate transportation of a stolen plane, boat and gun.
Not guilty pleas on behalf of Harris-Moore, 19, also were entered in federal court by his lawyer to charges of being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and of flying a plane without a pilot’s license.
The five charges, collectively punishable by up to 43 years in prison, were brought in an indictment returned by a grand jury last week, adding to the prosecutions mounting against the youth in his home state of Washington and elsewhere.
It wasn’t clear to me from this article whether he’s pleading no guilty to *all* charges against him, or if there may be other charges that he will plead guilty to. Previous coverage suggested his lawyers were trying to reach a plea-bargain. The story does note that charges from Washington and various states are piling up.
There’s little doubt among legal experts that Colton Harris-Moore’s best bet to avoid a lengthy prison term is to mount a defense that highlights his troubled upbringing and plays down the bravado of his two years on the run.
That’s already started.
His defense attorney, John Henry Browne, said on national television that the “Barefoot Bandit” isn’t interested in making money from his story. Harris-Moore didn’t have fun on the run, his lawyer said. He was lonely and scared.
Now, at 19, Harris-Moore could be facing years, if not decades, behind bars. Experts believe a trial — if no plea agreement is reached — is months away, at best.
Legal experts suggest that a successful defense likely will focus more on arguing for a reduced sentence than on challenging the facts in the dozens of crimes Harris-Moore is linked to.
He said Harris-Moore had a message for the public.
“He’s concerned that kids will think this is fun, and he wanted us to say publicly that it was not fun. He was scared to death most of the time he was on his ‘lark’,” said Browne. “It was not enjoyable … he was living in port-a-potties at times.”
perhaps his most benign nickname is the most telling. Long before stealing boats and planes made him a marvel of elusiveness, an Internet antihero, Mr. Harris-Moore, 19, was suspected of stealing cookies and frozen pizza from the Kostelyk family, a few gravel roads from the squalor that was his home, a trailer on a dead end here, barely an hour from Seattle. The Kostelyks had waterfront property and a freezer full of food. He lived inland and had nothing.
“We called him ‘Island Boy,’ ” recalled Linda Johnson, whose mother, Maxine Kostelyk, was among Mr. Harris-Moore’s first suspected victims. “He came back over and over again — frozen pizza, cookies, ice cream. He was a tall boy, and he was growing.” […]
An examination of his early life and troubles suggests a picture far less cinematic. According to court and public documents and dozens of interviews, Mr. Harris-Moore was nobody’s hero, not even his own. On the contrary, whether he was hiding in the Kostelyks’ tree house, watching for delivery of the high-powered flashlight the police believe he ordered with a stolen credit card, or flying solo to the Bahamas in a stolen Cessna this month, isolated in the tiny cockpit for more than a thousand miles — Colton Harris-Moore, for much of his life, was alone and hungry.
That was true even as he was being celebrated by thousands of fans on Facebook.
“He says he’s not into any of that,” said Monique Gomez, a lawyer who briefly represented Mr. Harris-Moore in the Bahamas. “He just wants to get this behind him.”