May 10, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Barefoot Bandit’s guilty plea lost
Skagit Valley Herald (MCT REGIONAL NEWS)
MOUNT VERNON — The man known as the “Barefoot Bandit” may have to appear in Skagit County Superior Court once again after his guilty plea statement turned up missing.
Colton Harris-Moore, who eluded law enforcement during his two-year stint stealing airplanes, vehicles and boats, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree burglary for breaking into an Anacortes Airport hangar and stealing a plane in 2010. The ensuing airplane theft was resolved in a San Juan County charge in 2011 because he landed the airplane on Orcas Island.
Harris-Moore ended up in Skagit County court after prosecutors in February refiled charges against him for stealing the Anacortes plane. Prosecutors initially dropped out of plea negotiations for Harris-Moore’s crimes in other counties in 2011.
He was sentenced Wednesday to three months in jail, which were tacked onto his seven-year sentence for 48 other convictions in San Juan, Island and Snohomish counties and federal courts.
Because Harris-Moore was granted credit for time already served in Skagit County Jail, he was scheduled to be transferred to a state prison Tuesday to resume serving his seven-year sentence.
But that could be put off if this week’s missing paperwork issue isn’t resolved by then.
Chief Deputy Court Clerk Mavis Betts said Harris-Moore’s guilty plea document was likely tossed by accident.
Wednesday’s hearing was not scheduled as a guilty plea hearing, so original plea documents were not prepared.
Betts said she believes that Harris-Moore’s attorney, John Henry Browne, pulled a guilty plea document from his own files labeled “copy” and used that for Harris-Moore and the judge to sign.
Because the document read “copy” and not “original,” a staffer processing documents must have assumed there was another copy of the guilty plea and disposed of the statement, Betts said.
Now parties need to sign another guilty plea statement.
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