Richard Heene to Plead Guilty to Balloon Boy Hoax

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Richard and Mayumi Heene will plead guilty to orchestrating the Balloon Boy hoax in Larimer County, Colorado court Friday, according to attorney David Lane.

Mayumi Heene will plead guilty to false reporting to police, a Class 3 misdemeanor (the lowest under Colorado law) with a stipulated sentence of probation.

Richard Heene, the "mastermind" behind the pathetic stunt, will also plead guilty to charges of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony.

The prosecutor has stipulated to a sentence of probation. The stipulations carry the possibility of up to 90 days in jail for Richard and 60 for Mayumi.

Analysts say the deal makes sense for both sides, given the cost of a trial and that Mayumi, a Japanese citizen, faced deportation if convicted of a felony.

Of course, the judge doesn't have to accept the deal and is allowed to alter the terms. While rare, the level of outrage in the case could prompt it here.


Still no word on whether the Heenes are going to pay any restitution for the costs of the Balloon Boy hoax, but you can be sure that will come up in court.

The two were investigated for reporting their six-year-old son, Falcon Heene, drifted away on a homemade balloon that broke loose from tethers in October.

That set off a frenzy among police, firefighters, National Guard and media as the UFO-shaped balloon hurtled 50 miles across the northern Colorado sky.

The balloon eventually crashed into a field and authorities discovered it empty, sparking fears the boy had fallen out until he was found safe at home.

The Heenes publicly denied any hoax, but as suspicion mounted, Mayumi admitted to an investigator that the balloon was released intentionally and that the couple knew Falcon was hiding in the attic the whole time and wasn't on board.

According to an affidavit she signed, Mayumi Heene said the PR stunt was intended to make the family "more marketable for future media interest" and that the three boys had been instructed to lie to authorities and the media.

That about sums it up. These are pretty much the worst human beings imaginable. You know it's bad when even this guy is hating on you ...

Kanye vs. Balloon Boy

Kanye is unimpressed with the Balloon Boy hoax. [Art by imaletyoufinish.com]

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I knew if I looked I'd see someone saying some angry and mean stuff.
Its not just criminals its all the mean, self-righteous people like the last few commentators who should be "deported" to "grumpy mean people island". Just remember you dont last forever so drop the burdens of hate you have for everyone.

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Morons. I am ashamed to be in the same catagory of adult with them.

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Totally agree. These are low-lifes. These kids are destined to become a burden to society.

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Sure, judge, go ahead and cut a deal so other criminals will know it's OK to pull any kind of stunt they want. What the h*ll ever happened to the idea of punishment and deterrent?! Everybody gets a slap on the hand nowadays. No wonder crooks are oozing out of every orifice in this country. I say deport Mz Heene to Japan and let her lousy husband go with her if he wants to. That way we get rid of both of them.