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Barefoot Bandit sentenced to six and one-half years in jail

posted 27 Jan 2012, 13:54 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 27 Jan 2012, 13:55 ]

The so-called Barefoot Bandit is sentenced to to six and one-half years in jail for two-year crime spree in the U.S.and Canada.

COUPEVILLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 16, 2011) (NBC) -A serial thief nicknamed the "Barefoot Bandit" was sentenced in Seattle on Friday (January 27) to six and one-half years in prison for a sensational, two-year crime spree in which he posed as a shoeless teenage runaway.

The federal judge also ordered that Colton Harris-Moore, 20, who read a statement in court apologizing for his crimes with "acceptance, humility and remorse," serve his federal sentence concurrently with a state term he received in December of more than seven years.

Under terms of a guilty plea deal accepted by the judge, Harris-Moore could be released from prison by his 26th birthday.

The proceedings marked the end of an extraordinary two-year saga for Harris-Moore, a high school dropout and self-taught pilot who stayed one step ahead of the law as he broke into homes and stole cars, boats and planes across nine states and British Columbia.

His exploits, which prosecutors said included at least 67 crimes, came to an end when he was captured in the Bahamas in July 2010 after crash-landing a stolen aircraft he had flown to the islands from Indiana.

The 78-month federal prison sentence was the maximum time allowed under the law for seven federal charges, including interstate transportation of two stolen airplanes and a yacht, two bank burglaries, possessing a firearm as a fugitive and piloting an aircraft without a valid license.

Last month in state court in Coupeville, Washington, Harris-Moore was sentenced to 87 months for 33 crimes ranging from residential burglary to attempting to elude police.

"The lessons learned on the back of my victims are no way an excuse for my crimes," Harris-Moore said, in a five-minute statement which he read before U.S. District Judge Richard Jones pronounced sentence.

Asked by the judge what message he would wish to send to young people, Harris-Moore responded: "What I did could be called daring, but I'm lucky to be alive."

As part of his plea deal, Harris-Moore agreed to forfeit any profits from the rights to his story. He has signed a movie deal with 20th Century Fox, setting aside about $1.3 million in proceeds as restitution to his victims.