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Insults show Barefoot Bandit as two-faced as sentencing nears

Colton Harris-Moore appears in Island County Superior Court for sentencing Dec. 16. - Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
Colton Harris-Moore appears in Island County Superior Court for sentencing Dec. 16.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

The Barefoot Bandit insulted the Island County sheriff, the prosecutor and members of the media in private while he publicly professed remorse and humility for his high-profile crime spree.

Newly released excerpts of Colton Harris-Moore's emails and phone conversations from a federal detention facility show a different side of the 20-year-old man than his attorneys represented in court last month.

Harris-Moore called Sheriff Mark Brown "the king swine himself" in a Dec. 9 telephone call, apparently to his mother. In a Dec. 25 email, Harris-Moore referred to Prosecutor Greg Banks as "unethical" and wrote that Banks and another prosecutor "looked like complete fools and asses."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle included the excerpts in a sentencing memorandum filed today. The U.S. Attorney is urging the court to sentence Harris-Moore to the maximum of six and a half years in prison.

"There are good reasons to question whether Mr. Harris-Moore's public expressions of remorse and acceptance of responsibility are entirely genuine," the memorandum states. "Many of his private statements take a tone that is quite different from his Letter to the Court."

Harris-Moore is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court Friday on seven crimes he committed in 2009 and 2010. He was already sentenced in Island County Superior Court Dec. 16 to seven years and three months in prison for 33 crimes he committed in the state.

The government's sentencing memorandum describes Harris-Moore's interstate and international crime spree in detail. It describes Harris-Moore's famous theft of airplanes as well as a burglary in South Dakota in which he threatened to shoot a homeowner.

The new information, however, came from phone calls and email. Harris-Moore is being held in a federal detention center in Seatac and was informed that phone calls and email would be monitored, the memorandum states.

Besides insulting the sheriff and prosecutors, Harris-Moore also called the media "vermin." While his attorneys claimed that Harris-Moore didn't want attention or to glamorize his crimes, he seemed to brag in an email about stealing planes.

"Nobody on this planet have done what I have, except for the Wright brothers," he wrote.

Banks said he was aware of the emails and phone calls. He said nobody should be surprised.

"They show how Harris-Moore really sees the justice system and his crime spree," Banks wrote in an email. "I am not surprised at all. I hope Judge Jones takes this into account when sentencing him."

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