Skagit County Files Charges

Skagit County Courthouse. From

News outlets in the Seattle area are reporting that Skagit County has filed burglary and theft charges against Camano Island native Colton Harris-Moore.

Remember the plane he stole and flew to Orcas Island while a fugitive? Yep. That’s what this is about. This is not double jeopardy or “reaching” or an injustice or misuse of the legal system like some are already lamenting online. These were charges that were filed before, as KOMO says, then dropped to allow for a plea deal in other cases, and have been filed again.

KOMO is reporting that prosecutors will ask for an exceptional sentence which could be up to 10 years. At least part of this sentence can run at the same time as the less than seven year sentence he is already serving.

I don’t feel sorry for him. He committed a serious felony crime spree that wasted a tremendous amount of taxpayer dollars and has to answer for what’s he done. Some are questioning the motivation of Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich as if it’s his fault Harris-Moore is facing more charges or he’s doing it for political gain. Harris-Moore knew what he was doing and knew the consequences; this is his fault. He was trying to get rich, way rich, by victimizing and terrorizing others.

Given his long history of self-serving antisocial behavior, I’ve maintained that society needs to be protected from him all along. He isn’t just “some poor kid who needs rehabilitation.” He has consciously made these choices and will get into more trouble when released given what appears to be false humility designed to get the judge to go easy on him. Let’s hope Skagit County’s judges aren’t so easily swayed by the sort of sympathy-inducing drama that played out in court before.

Good for you, Skagit County. I see no logical reason to go easy on a serial criminal who has risked lives and cost his victims well over a million dollars just because he might be good if he gets a second chance. Our justice system should not be about making life easier for habitual offenders and returning them to society sooner so we can see if they go straight. It should be about justice– bringing justice, be it peace of mind, financial compensation, or protection, to the victims and to society.


Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. -Martin Luther King, Jr.


See the Crime & Justice category on the right sidebar for more posts about Harris Moore. You can also do a text search at the top right.


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4 thoughts on “Skagit County Files Charges

  1. Attorney John Henry Browne is likely a skosh biased, but I completely agree with him that the county prosecutor is acting the juvenile, opposed to Mr Harris-Moore who’s age 21 now, and who was age 18 at the time of the alleged crimes of Burglary in the Second Degree (i.e., entering property with intent to commit harm); and Theft in the First Degree (theft of an item valued >$1,500) Both are non-violent property crimes categorized by Revised Code of Washington as Class C felonies, punishable by no more than 5 years incarceration and a $10,000 fine. Colton Harris-Moore’s global plea agreement included one of the aforementioned crimes and 40 total. This would mean prima facie double jeopardy. In Washington State’s RCW criminal section, there are 16 gradations of felony crimes. Aggravated Murder in the First Degree is level XVI; Murder in the Second Degree is XIV; Rape of a Child in the First Degree is XII; Manufacture of Methamphetamine is X; Robbery in the First Degree (armed) is IX; Violation of an Order of Protection is a V. These are just a few random examples to illustrate where Colton Harris-Moore falls on ‘felonometer’: Burg 2 is a level III felony and Theft I is a level 2. Mr. Harris-Moore’s is currently serving over 7 years in prison. He has repaid $1.3 million restitution with money from Hollywood producers for rights to his story, because of Son of Sam laws profit from future media endeavors should easily meet the threshold of restitution. He was ordered in toto to pay $1.6 million restitution. Do you see my point? I am hardly a Barefoot Bandit groupie, as I only discovered this blog researching Chris Dorner: That was spot on blog analysis! …so, being from Seattle, I then clicked on the Skagit County link. We have finite resources in Washington state to address serious and violent crimes. Mr Harris-Moore’s further prosecution should be discontinued forthwith because it is not the interest of justice. Few things make me cringe like media whore ultra zealous prosecutors. I say nullify, nullify, and nullify them. That is prolly controversial and not usually in the interest of justice, but that does not mean it does not make me feel good when it happens, just like you got some tickle up leg from hearing this kid was being further prosecuted. Lastly regarding Harris-Moore, the plane was recovered with very little damage and returned to lawful owner. And lastly re Dorner, you get a little side-tracked with the McCain/Panama Canal legalese thingy. My understanding of Dorner using ‘CONUS’, as in ‘continental United States’, is that neither Obama nor McCain were born there. Your post would read best if that information was footnoted or deleted. Best! Jason


    1. Jason, thanks for the thoughtful analysis. I did go bananas about the Panama issue but it irritates me when people don’t know what they’re talking about. Being born in the Panama Canal Zone means that someone is just as qualified as someone born on the continent to be president. There is no difference and no distinction for such people.

      I talked to the prosecutor’s office today, and while they can’t discuss details of this case, they don’t believe it will cost anywhere near the estimates being thrown around on the web. They are aware that there is concern about all of these issues. Having dealt with John Henry Browne personally in the past, I can say that he likes to sensationalize and spin things to the advantage of his clients. This is no different. Now he wants the public to believe they’re being wronged as well as his client.


  2. Your wrong. It will cost Skagit at least a $100,000 to prosecute him, and he will serve no more time than what he is already serving. The crime he committed was figured at less than $1000.00, was judged as the least offensive and most minor of all the crimes. I am not sympathetic to Harris-Moore, not one bit. But the lawyers, both state and federal, agreed to the terms, with Weyrich being the lone thorn. Now, because Weyrich is butt hurt and wants the publicity, will cost the county a huge sum of money to soothe his ego. And this, less than two weeks after Weyrich refuses to prosecute a Skagit family that stole effectively $700,000. Weyrich has blown so many cases, and this is just another example of a waste of time.


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