"Barefoot Bandit" Gun Complicates Things: Lawyer

Colton Harris-Moore arrives barefoot, handcuffed and shackled as he is escorted by police to Nassau, Bahamas, Sunday July 11, 2010. Harris-Moore was arrested before dawn in northern Eleuthera island, according to police. Island police had been searching for the fugitive since he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane a week ago on nearby Great Abaco Island, where he was blamed for a string of at least seven break-ins and has been running from U.S. law enforcement since escaping from a Washington state halfway house in 2008. (AP Photo/Felipe Major) AP Photo

Police in the Bahamas say the "Barefoot Bandit" had a gun on him when he was apprehended after a brief, high-speed boat chase and briefly put it to his head, but didn't pull the trigger, according to CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor.

And that, says a lawyer hired by Colton Harris-Moore's mother in his hometown of Seattle, could really "complicate matters."

Harris-Moore, 19, was caught after an alleged string of burglaries in the Bahamas that followed his purportedly crash-landing a plane he'd stolen in Indiana and flown more than 1,000 miles to the islands - with no formal flight training in his background. Police say they had to shoot out the motor in the boat he was piloting to stop him.

"Barefoot Bandit" Arrested, Ending 2-Year Run
All-Out Manhunt for "Barefoot Bandit" in Bahamas

Harris-Moore allegedly stole cars, boats and five planes, and committed more than 100 burglaries, as he dodged authorities in at least eight states over two years since escaping from a Seattle halfway house.

The product of an abusive father who left him when he was two, Harris-Moore took to camping in the wild at 7 and was convicted of his first crime at 12.

He also gained a big following, with more than 60,000 fans on Facebook.

But John Henry Browne, the attorney Harris-Moore's mother retained for him, says, "The fact that they allegedly found a gun on him complicates matters because, whenever you commit a crime, even if you're not using a gun, but you have a gun in your possession, it makes things much more difficult.

"The possession of a weapon during a crime, even though it's not used in the crime, with some exceptions, usually makes it much more complicated.

"Now, I've done some research about the Bahamian law. If they don't make the allegation about the weapon, since it wasn't used in any crime, then his sentence structure in the Bahamas would be very low, actually. But I'm not sure they would want to go through an expensive high-profile trial if they can turn everything over to the feds in Seattle. But maybe everybody wants their pound of flesh. I don't know."

Harris-Moore's notoriety could also work against him, Browne admits. "If it was a normal case in federal court," he says, "it would probably be three or four years, or maybe even less, depending on how good the lawyer was that was doing the job! But given the notoriety here, you know, my best guess, and of course these are allegations, I don't know which cases have evidence and which cases don't have evidence, my guess is somewhere between 4 and 12 years, perhaps," if he's convicted:

Browne adds he'd advice Harris-Moore to waive extradition and face the music on the U.S. mainland, if Bahamian officials let him:


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