When Colton Harris-Moore faces the judge for sentencing on Friday, his mother won't be in the small Island County Superior Courtroom in Coupeville, Wash.
"I have arthritis so bad, I can barely walk," Pam Kohler says.
But Harris-Moore's attorney, John Henry Browne, wasn't saving a seat for her anyway.
The attorney representing the 20-year-old who got worldwide notoriety as the Barefoot Bandit says he won't even let his mother visit him at Federal Detention Center where he's being held:
"When you read the reports, you'll understand why. It's too painful."
It's only by phone that the Barefoot Bandit communicates with his mother, says Browne.
A 54-page psychiatrist's report, and 40-page "mitigation package" prepared for the defense in hopes of a lenient sentence on Friday by Judge Vickie Churchill, help explain why Harris-Moore has yet to see his mother since he was caught in the Bahamas in July 2010.
The mitigation report tells of the experiences of Bev and Geoff Davis, who live about three miles from the singlewide trailer in the woods where Harris-Moore grew up:
"Bev recalled a time when Colt was about 12-13 years old: He called her on the phone, laughing, and said 'You wanna hear something?' He then apparently held up the phone as Bev clearly heard Pam screaming (profanities) followed by shotgun blasts."
The report tells of Harris-Moore growing up in a home where the damage caused by alcohol was ever present.
Ed Coaker, Kohler's brother, is quoted about his sister: "When Pam drinks one beer she gets mean and when she drinks two beers she wants to fight. But, Pam drinks 20 beers."
Kohler says about the reports: "John Henry Browne is trying to make me the fall guy. I don't like it, but if that's gonna help Colt, fine."
She also vows: "I'm going to put John Henry Browne out of business. His office will be up for lease. I'm serious. I'm going on the Internet and slam him."
To the victims of his crime sprees, the sympathy level for Harris-Moore isn't high.
Kyle Ater owns the Orcas Homegrown Market and Gourmet Delicatessen, and says that in two break-ins, Harris-Moore caused him $12,000 in damages from stolen cash and trashed computers.
"It wasn't a victimless crime," says Ater. "Oh, to say that he grew up in an abusive society and we should let him off because of that? I'm going to tell the judge how he affected hundreds of people and millions of dollars' worth of property."
Harris-Moore pleaded guilty in June to seven federal felony charges in a plea agreement that recommend he serve five to six years in prison to resolve the federal aspects of his crimes. The deal also turns over all proceeds to victims from a reported $1.3 million movie deal about the Barefoot Bandit's story.
In a two-year crime spree, Harris-Moore stole two airplanes and a boat, and had a cross-country string of break-ins and thefts.
The reports try to build sympathy for Harris-Moore, as Browne seeks a six-year sentence at Friday's hearing, to run concurrently with the federal sentence.
The report by Dr. Richard Adler, whose specialty is forensic and clinical psychiatry, says:
"What was characterized by the media as the swashbuckling adventures of a rakish teenager were in fact the actions of a depressed, possibly suicidal young man with waxing and waning Posttraumatic Stress Disorder ... "
The psychiatrist writes that Harris-Moore was "exposed to alcohol prenatally" and states that "despite speculation in the mass media that Colton might have superior IQ, this is not borne out by standardized testing." It states that "it is likely that Colton, in addition to being abused himself, witnessed domestic violence against his mother."
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