An anonymous donor has offered $50,000 to Colton Harris-Moore, the so-called "Barefoot Bandit," to surrender by 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to an Edmonds lawyer who is handling the offer.
An anonymous donor has offered $50,000 to Colton Harris-Moore, the so-called “Barefoot Bandit,” to surrender by 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to an Edmonds lawyer who is handling the offer.
The lawyer, Jim Johanson, said Thursday that he would represent Harris-Moore, 19, free of charge as part of the arrangement. If Harris-Moore were to take the offer, he could keep the money, although there might be some costs associated with his legal defense, Johanson said.
Johanson said he knows that Harris-Moore is tired of running from the law and the “sleepless nights,” and that it is time for Harris-Moore to put his legal troubles behind him before someone gets hurt.
Johanson said the donor approached him Wednesday, asking that no details be released about his donation. The money has been put in a trust fund, Johanson said.
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“I can give him the best legal representation for free” and the $50,000, said Johanson, who urged Harris-Moore to call him at 425-776-5547.
Johanson said Harris-Moore’s legal problems are not insurmountable and no one has been physically harmed in the course of his crimes.
Among those involved in the effort is Mike Rocha, an Everett-based bail bondsman or bounty hunter, who this week disclosed he and other bondsmen are donating their services free in an effort to capture Harris-Moore. The reward fund for Harris-Moore has grown to $6,500.
Rocha said Thursday that Harris-Moore is eventually going to be arrested and that the $50,000 payment provides him an incentive to get legal help.
“To a reasonable person, this is a very obvious choice,” Rocha said, adding that the offer allows Harris-Moore to surrender on his own terms.
Harris-Moore has been wanted by authorities since April 2008 following his escape from a Renton halfway house, where he was serving time for burglarizing Camano Island homes. Since then, he has successfully avoided law enforcement while being blamed for a series of thefts, including boats, airplanes and luxury cars, and breaking into homes and businesses.
Johanson said he didn’t know if Harris-Moore would be forced to use the bounty to pay restitution if he takes the money and is convicted.
Information from Seattle Times archives and The Associated Press is included in this report.