Balloon boy parents plead guilty

Balloon boy parents plead guilty
by Dallas Johnson

The parents of 6-year-old "balloon boy" pleaded guilty Friday to charges relating to the highly-publicized incident, CNN reported.

Richard Heene pleaded guilty in Larimer County Court to a felony count of knowingly and falsely influencing Sheriff Jim Alderden, MSNBC reported.

Heene's wife, Mayumi Heene, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of knowingly filing a false report with emergency services.

Both agreed to a sentence involving probation, the Heenes attorney's said.  In addition, Richard faces up to 90 days in jail while Mayumi faces up to 60.

Richard also told judge Stephen Schapanski that he knew he may have to pay restitution for the money spent in attempts to ground a balloon authorities were told contained the Heene's son.

Authorities spent at least $62,000 in October pursuing the balloon.

The incident started when Mayumi called police and told them her son, Falcon, was trapped in a large silver balloon that come loose from its moorings in their yard.

Authorities then chased the balloon, trying to ground it, as it floated over Colorado.

Mayumi later told police that the whole incident was a hoax, developed to try and gain hype for the possibility of a future reality television show.

Schapanski told Mayumi, a Japanese citizen, that her please doesn't necessarily prevent federal authorities doing something regarding her immigration status.

Lee Christian, Mayumi's attorney, agreed with the statement, adding that the plea would help her chances.

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This page contains a single entry by Dallas Johnson published on November 13, 2009 10:01 PM.

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