‘Barefoot Bandit’ sentenced to 6 1/2 years, gets movie offers

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    Colton Harris-Moore, a.k.a. the infamous “Barefoot Bandit” was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison by federal judge this Friday. He is guilty of an international crime spree of break-ins and boat and plane thefts that lasted two years and ended in 2010.

    Harris-Moore is a 20-year-old young man who claims to achieve the “realization of a lifelong dream” while stealing “flights in stolen planes with no formal flight training”. After the sentence his arrogance had change to remorse and said that his “arrogance” led him to “keep alive” his “dream of flying”.

    Prosecutor Darwin Roberts has confirmed the rumour that the 6-feet-4-inches tall lanky youth has landed a film offer on his life. 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. However, he was sarcastic enough to add that he did not expect that to be enough money to cover restitution.

    After the sentence Harris-Moore told the court, “I’d like to first say that what I did could be called daring, but it is no stretch of the imagination to say that I’m lucky to be alive. I should have died years ago.”

    Defense attorney John Henry Browne has further said that he was expecting Harris-Moore to serve a sentence of four and a half years as he has already spent 18 months in custody so far. But the decision on the length of time Harris-Moore is to spend in prison will rest on the Bureau of Prisons.

    During the infamous two years of his life, he  flew a plane stolen in Washington state to the San Juan Islands and then stole a pistol in British Columbia. He took a plane from Idaho to Washington state where he stole a plane to go to Oregon. From Oregon he stole another plane to fly to Indiana went on to the Bahamas, where was arrested.

    Harris-Moore is called the “Barefoot Bandit” because he stayed bare foot while committing a number of these crimes. His daring flights and elusive personality won him a number of fans.

    This Friday the brashness and swagger disappeared as U.S. District Judge Richard Jones imposed the sentence, which will be served concurrently with state prison time.

    Harris-Moore said, “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. I should have died years ago.”

    Though the defense expects him to serve about four more years of prison sentence, but the decision will rest on the Prison authorities.

    The fans of Harris-Moore had created a fan page for him which was followed by thousands of fans and admirers around the world. When the judge asked Harris-Moore to share his advice with those thousands, he humbly replied that “his flights in stolen planes with no formal flight training — though the realization of a lifelong dream — were in fact frightening”.

    Defense lawyers took the stand that foolhardy approach of the 6-foot-5 youth was because of a nightmarish childhood. In his childhood he was made to break into nearby homes to find food and clothing as a result of his mother’s alcoholism, abuse and neglect. Defense lawyer John Henry Browne said that the upbringing of Harris-Moore “worse than a dog’s”.

    Prosecutors claimed that the 6.5 years o sentence was the lenient side of the deserved sentence keeping in mind Harris-Moore’s rough childhood. His crimes resulted in $1.3 million in losses to victims.