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Parents in US 'balloon boy' hoax plead guilty

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posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 03:58 PM
Parents in US 'balloon boy' hoax plead guilty

The parents behind the "balloon boy" hoax pleaded guilty to criminal charges arising from the case Friday and will be sentenced next month, a Colorado judge ruled.

Richard and Mayumi Heene, who allegedly fabricated the stunt in a bid to land their own reality television show, spoke quietly as they entered their pleas before a packed court-room at Larimer County Court.

Richard Heene, 48, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant while Mayumi, 45, a Japanese national, admitted a misdemeanor offense of false reporting to authorities.

Although the charges are punishable by jail terms of 90 and 60 days respectively, the couple are widely expected to receive probation as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

The Heenes will be sentenced on December 23, Judge Stephen Schapanski ruled during a morning hearing at the court in Fort Collins, outside Denver.

The couple could also be faced with a bill running into tens of thousands of dollars for the multi-agency search and rescue effort that took place after they reported that their six-year-old son had accidentally floated away on a home-made air balloon shaped like a flying saucer.

The child was later discovered hiding at home. Police said the incident had been a hoax designed by the Heenes to help them obtain a television deal.

Granted that what the Heenes did was a bone head stunt but I hope they don't have to serve any time. I doubt if they will. But they should pay something to make up for the effort and time the rescue people put in.

There are many stunts manufactured by all sort of people to gain notoriety to promote everything from "Record Sales" to "art openings" to "Walks for the terminally Lame"

Sometimes entrepreneurship isn't pretty and looks very awkward.

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 05:20 PM
reply to post by whaaa

I guess the father didn't think things through.
They should give him a break.
What will happen to the children if he goes to prison?

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 05:37 PM
reply to post by Eurisko2012

What will happen to the children if he continues to raise them?

Everyone expects probation and a bill for the rescue attempt. Punishment enough and a deterrent for others.

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 05:52 PM
the judge shouldve also barred him froom being on television again. it would have been a fitting punishment. granted thats overstepping the boundaries of a judge and would be overturned in an appeal

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 06:01 PM
I'd give them max jail time and they pay back every last penny spent on this. They are stupid, and stupid should hurt. My sympathies are with those poor poor kids. Sucks to have parents this moronic.

A lot of resources went into playing this game they played, resources that they tied up because they chose to be attention whores. That they weren't needed for a real rescue is fortunate. It could have gone the other way.

posted on Nov, 13 2009 @ 06:39 PM
I wish someone had talked them out of this. The hoax seems more crazy than criminal. What else could have led them to believe fame would have really helped them that much? People have the attention span of fruit flies now days. In order to stay in the lime light, they would have had to have many hoaxes. As part of punishment, they need counceling with a good therapist.

[edit on 13-11-2009 by eradown]

posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 05:18 PM
Were they guilty or did they just plead guilty under pressure and threats of deporation. Did they actually plan it as a hoax?
The rescue people are mad about the money they spent but the news media are not too unhappy about all the money they made.

[edit on 23-12-2009 by m khan]

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