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'Barefoot Bandit' Colton Harris-Moore gets more than 7 years for crime spree

Colton Harris-Moore, the youthful thief who rocketed to international notoriety as the 'Barefoot Bandit', was sentenced to more than seven years after pleading guilty to dozens of charges, including burglary and identity theft, stemming from his crime spree.

Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the "Barefoot Bandit," talks with his attorney John Henry Browne in Island County Superior Court, Friday, Dec. 16, in Coupeville, Wash. Harris-Moore pleaded guilty Friday to burglary and theft charges in the Barefoot Bandit case.

Ted S. Warren/AP

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At times, Colton Harris-Moore's two years on the run were euphoric – the nights of beatific solitude in the woods, the soaring adrenalin rush of his first moments airborne in the cockpit of a stolen plane.

But most other times were far less glamorous: sleeping in portable toilets or culverts as he sought shelter from the elements and the police.

The youthful thief who rocketed to international notoriety as the "Barefoot Bandit" is done with both extremes for the moment. He was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in a Washington state prison after pleading guilty to dozens of charges, including burglary and identity theft, stemming from his crime spree.

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Harris-Moore, now 20, showed no reaction as the sentence was delivered by a judge who took pity on his bleak upbringing at the hands of an alcoholic mother and a series of her convict boyfriends – a situation she described as a "mind-numbing absence of hope."

"This case is a tragedy in many ways, but it's a triumph of the human spirit in other ways," Island County Judge Vickie Churchill said. "I could have been reading about the history of a mass murderer. I could have been reading about a drug abusive, alcoholic young man. That is the triumph of Colton Harris-Moore: He has survived."

Harris-Moore's daring run from the law earned him international fame and a movie deal to help repay his victims after he flew a stolen plane from Indiana to the Bahamas in July 2010, crash-landed it near a mangrove swamp and was arrested by Bahamian authorities in a hail of bullets.

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