NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — The alleged “Barefoot Bandit” will be charged with illegal weapons possession and other crimes in the Bahamas following his weeklong run from authorities in the island chain, the Bahamian police commissioner said Monday.
Possession of an unlicensed handgun is the most serious of a “litany” of charges that are expected to be presented Tuesday when Colton Harris-Moore makes his first appearance before a judge, said Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade.
He said Harris-Moore did not fire at officers during his capture Sunday just off the island of Eleuthera. The commissioner said the suspect spoke with police and understood his predicament but declined to say whether there was any kind of confession.
“He’s very eloquent, obviously an intelligent young man,” Commissioner Greenslade said at a news conference.
Commissioner Greenslade said earlier that charges filed in the Bahamas will take priority over those in the United States. Monday is a holiday on the island chain, however, and Harris-Moore was not expected to make his initial court appearance until Tuesday at the earliest.
John Henry Browne, a lawyer asked by Harris-Moore’s mother to represent her son, said the theft and burglary charges in the Bahamas are relatively minor but that alleged possession of a gun at the time of his capture could complicate the case. He told CBS‘ “Early Show” that the 19-year-old fugitive should waive any challenge to extradition and try to return to Seattle as soon as possible.
If the charges are consolidated in federal court, Harris-Moore is looking at a potential four to 12 years in prison, he said.
Mr. Browne said he hoped to speak later Monday with the suspect, who as an adult will decide himself who represents him.
Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle, said that her office would seek to extradite Harris-Moore to Washington state and coordinate with local jurisdictions about how his case would proceed.
“There are obviously many jurisdictions that would like to prosecute him,” she said.
His mother, Pamela Kohler of Camano Island, Washington, issued a statement expressing relief that the manhunt for her son had ended.
“I am very relieved that Colt is now safe and that no one was hurt during his capture,” Ms. Kohler said. “I have not yet been able to speak to him. It has been over 2½ years since I have seen him, and I miss him terribly.”
Harris-Moore stayed a step ahead of the law — stealing cars, powerboats and even airplanes, police say — while building a reputation as a 21st-century folk hero, but his celebrity became his downfall.
Witnesses on Eleuthera recognized him and called police, who captured him Sunday after a high-speed boat chase, Commissioner Greenslade said at a celebratory news conference in Nassau, the capital.View Entire Story
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