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Balloon boy parents plead guilty
The Heene parents that recently pulled a hoax on the world, with their balloon boy son, have pleaded guilty to charges that could bring probation, jail time and fines.
Richard and Mayumi Heene appeared in court Friday morning. Richard Heene pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public service, a class 4 felony. Mayumi Heene also plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of false reporting, according to David Lane, Richard Heene's attorney.
Lane said if the parents did not agree to the plea there was a possible deportation of Mayumi Heene to her native Japan where she has full citizenship. However, the prosecutor told the judge that the threat of deportation was not used in an effort to get the parents to accept the plea.
The plea agreement spares the Heene’s maximum prison time. Richard Heene could spend up to 90 days and Mayumi Heene could spend up to 60 days in prison, according to Lane. They could also be responsible for repaying the cost of searching for their son.
On October 15, the Heene family let a weather balloon go in the backyard and told authorities their son was inside. The world watched with horror, fearing for Falcon Heene’s (age 6) life. Rescuers chased the balloon for over 50 miles until the balloon landed in a dusty farm field with no Falcon inside. The Heene’s later announced they found the boy hiding at home.
Mayumi Heene eventually admitted it was a hoax. Richard Heene still has not admitted to the hoax.
Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. on December 23. The children, ages 6, 8 and 10 will remain in the parents’ custody.
The Denver Channel Contributed to this report