The teenage bandit who was accused in a string of several ambitious crimes ranging from minor break-ins to plane theft is expected to plead guilty in a Seattle court today.
Colton Harris-Moore achieved folk hero status while he evaded law enforcement for two years, and currently has a fan club with more than 23,000 members on the social network. The teen was tracked across the US and Canada before he was apprehended in the Bahamas in 2009 and has been in custody ever since. Harris-Moore’s plea has been a long time in the works, say prosecutors:
In a statement Thursday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office at Seattle said Harris-Moore is expected to appear before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones for a change of plea hearing. Harris-Moore is currently in custody at the SeaTac Detention Center… John Henry Browne, Harris-Moore’s attorney, said prosecutors and the defense are “very close” to a plea deal for the Barefoot Bandit and that a preliminary draft was completed last week. Browne wouldn’t offer details of the plea deal but said it would resolve criminal accusations against Harris-Moore in state and federal courts.
As part of an indictment handed down in late May, prosecutors indicated they believe Harris-Moore should not be allowed to profit from selling his story:
“The property forfeited includes … any and all intellectual property or other proprietary rights belonging to the defendant, based upon or pertaining to any narration, description, publication, dissemination or disclosure of information relating to” the crimes charged, prosecutors said in the indictment.
Prosecutors go on to assert that Harris-Moore should give up “any profits or proceeds received in connection with any publication or dissemination of information relating to illegal conduct.”
Harris-Moore is said to be displeased with the level of fandom he has achieved and only wishes to use proceeds to pay restitution to those his alleged crimes have affected. Sentencing recommendations included in the plea were not revealed.