'Barefoot Bandit' gets prison and movie deal

Posted: January 28, 2012

SEATTLE - A federal judge sentenced "Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore to 61/2 years in prison Friday for his infamous two-year, international crime spree of break-ins and boat and plane thefts that ended in 2010.

Harris-Moore, 20, hopscotched across the United States, authorities said. He flew a plane stolen in northwest Washington to the San Juan Islands, stole a pistol in British Columbia and took a plane from Idaho to Washington state, stole a boat in southwest Washington to go to Oregon, and took a plane in Indiana and flew to the Bahamas, where was arrested.

He earned his nickname because he committed several of his crimes without wearing shoes and attracted fans for his ability to evade police.

But Friday, Harris-Moore apologized to his victims shortly before U.S. Judge Richard Jones imposed the sentence, which will be served concurrently with state prison time. He particularly apologized for stealing planes, saying his arrogance led him to keep alive his dream of flying.

"What I did could be called daring, but it is no stretch of the imagination to say that am lucky to be alive . . . absolutely lucky," he said. "I should have died years ago."

Defense attorney John Henry Browne said he expected Harris-Moore to be out of prison in about 41/2 years, accounting for the 18 months he's already been in custody. Federal prosecutors said the time he might serve would be up to the Bureau of Prisons.

Prosecutor Darwin Roberts said that a deal has been signed with 20th Century Fox for a movie based on Harris-Moore for a deal worth about $1.3 million but that he did not expect that to be enough money to cover restitution.

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