July 20,2010 – Will Colton Harris-Moore and his mother, Pam Kohler, profit from Harris-Moore’s alleged crimes? The courts hope not as it could lead to others believing they can gain fame and money by committing crimes.
Harris-Moore’s mother has not sought fame and fortune from her son’s crimes but she could do so even now that he is behind bars.
Harris-Moore himself could also stand to profit from his shenanigans.
According to a well-known entertainment lawyer hired by Harris-Moore’s mother, he is being swamped by unsolicited offers for book and movie deals. There is no law in place to prohibit either Harris-Moore or his mother from getting rich off his story.
However, prosecutors could seek to have them agree to turn over any profits from such deals in exchange for Harris-Moore avoiding a long prison sentence. The profits made could be used to repay his victims.
Mark Bartlett, former first assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle, told the AP, “Most victims in this case would not look kindly on either the defendant or his family getting rich. It would be very difficult for him to make a pitch for leniency without a clean and total disgorgement of profits he or his family members are making.”
Harris-Moore is the self-taught pilot suspected in more than 70 crimes across nine states. The crimes occurred after he walked away from a half-way house in April 2008. He faced another two years there for crimes he committed as a teen.
According to KING 5 News, Harris-Moore’s aunt has spoken out saying she believes it was his upbringing that caused him to rebel. Jacquie Staggs said her nephew has always loved airplanes and would carry a book around as a youngster called “How to fly an airplane.”
She believes his upbringing and constant put-downs are what lead him to a life of crime. She believes he is smart and hopes he can go somewhere to turn his life around.
Harris-Moore was charged of assaulting his mother at age 12.
Earlier this month Harris-Moore was arrested in the Bahamas after being spotted on security cameras appearing to steal food from restaurants, then being spotted again by a security guard at a marina on Harbour Island.
The security guard said the tall youth had a knapsack and gun in his possession when he was spotted in a boat. Police were contacted and a chase ensued with Harris Moore allegedly shouting, “They’re after me. They’re after me. They’re going to kill me!”
When police arrived they shot out the engine of the 30-foot speed boat, which ran aground. They then encircled Harris-Moore.
According to the Guardian, the teen reportedly held the gun he was carrying to his head and threatened suicide. He was talked out of it. He then threw his laptop and an iPhone into the water, and they were later recovered and will be used in compiling the case against him.
Related: Barefoot Bandit arrested in the Bahamas
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KING 5 News