"Barefoot Bandit" suspect in plea negotiations

By Laura L. Myers

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Prosecutors and attorneys for the 20-year-old man accused in a series of crimes attributed to the “Barefoot Bandit” are negotiating a plea deal, a defense lawyer told Reuters on Thursday.

The plea agreement, is being hammered out among 20 state and federal jurisdictions to consolidate and settle all of the charges against Colton Harris-Moore, attorney John Henry Browne said.

“We’re aiming for a global resolution,” Browne said. “All signs seem good. It would involve ending all prosecutions against Colton everywhere. There won’t be a trial if this goes through,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle declined to comment, but a motion filed jointly by prosecutors and defense lawyers asking for additional time to prepare discovery materials referred to the potential of a plea deal.

“The parties are currently involved in settlement negotiations that may potentially resolve this case,” the two sides said in the court documents. “The negotiations have been meaningful and productive.”

Harris-Moore, a 6-foot-five-inch tall high school dropout and self-taught pilot, is accused of a two-year spree of sometimes-shoeless burglaries and thefts.

He was indicted in November on five counts of interstate transportation of a stolen plane, a stolen boat and a gun, along with being a fugitive in possession of a firearm and flying a plane without a license.

Harris-Moore had already been identified as a suspect in a two-year spree of 80 crimes across nine U.S. states, British Columbia and the Bahamas, including five cases of stolen aircraft.

He was captured in the Bahamas last July after he crashed a small plane he had allegedly stolen from Indiana and flown on his own for over 1,000 miles.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Tim Gaynor)

"Barefoot Bandit" suspect in plea negotiations