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Friday
Jan272012

'Barefoot Bandit's' Attorneys Defend His Emails Ahead of Sentencing

Brand X Pictures/ThinkstockUPDATE: A federal judge in Seattle sentenced the "Barefoot Bandit" to the maximum six and a half years in prison for a string of thefts and burglaries after the 20-year-old bragged to friends in emails from jail that prosecutors were fools and he'd emerge unscathed.

(SEATTLE) -- Ahead of his sentencing on Friday, the attorneys for the "Barefoot Bandit" say the emails disclosed this week in which he criticized police and prosecutors, were taken out of context and it was "not unusual" for the young man to be upset with authorities.

Colton Harris-Moore, 20, pled guilty to charges of state theft and burglary in December after his two-year crime spree, including the thefts of two airplanes and a boat, as well as a string of break-ins.  Prosecutors disclosed over a year's worth of emails on Tuesday ahead of his sentencing in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

In the emails, Harris-Moore called the Island County sheriff "king swine," and referred to prosecutors as "fools" and reporters as "vermins."

He also wrote to one friend, "I won't be out tomorrow but I have no doubt I will emerge unscathed back on track."

His attorney, Emma Scanlan, said prosecutors provided thousands of pages of emails and correspondence over the last 18 months, some of which were out of context and truncated.  In a response filed on Thursday, Harris-Moore's defense states that the emails do not show a lack of remorse previously displayed.  Harris-Moore wrote the state and federal judges presiding over his cases a lengthy six-page email in December, expressing his regret to victims and detailing his troubled past.

The defense said in the court filing that he was provisionally diagnosed with, "Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder and is extraordinarily suggestible."

"When you have someone diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and shows he will be grandiose, he will have limited ability to understand the consequenses of what he is saying," Scanlan told ABC News.

Scanlan said a doctor who has evaluated him extensively said people who have his profile and are affected by alcohol in the womb have grandiose ideas about themselves.

Harris-Moore is known as the "Barefoot Bandit" for allegedly not wearing shoes during some crimes, leaving bare footprints in the woods after landing a stolen airplane near Granite Falls, Wash. Officials say he did wear shoes most of the time, though authorities often name bandits with monikers so they are more easily identifiable.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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