Dad agrees to plead guilty in "balloon boy" hoax

Credit: Larimer County Sheriff's Office

Dad agrees to plead guilty in "balloon boy" hoax

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by Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 12, 2009 at 3:32 PM

 

DENVER -- The attorney for "balloon boy" dad Richard Heene says his client is going to "fall on his sword" for the sake of his wife and children.

David Lane says Heene will plead guilty to a felony charge while his wife Mayumi will plead guilty to a misdemeanor for the alleged hoax.

Last month, the Colorado couple reported that their 6-year-old son had floated away in a giant, homemade, helium balloon, triggering a frantic rescue effort. Authorities say it was all a publicity stunt for a proposed TV show.

The attorney says the couple agreed to the deal because Mayumi Heene is a citizen of Japan, and a felony conviction could lead to her deportation.

Lane says Richard Heene "made no incriminating statements to law enforcement" and would have a good chance of acquittal, but his client didn't want to risk his wife's deportation.

Court documents indicate that Mayumi Heene admitted the incident was a hoax during questioning by sheriff's deputies.

Lane says prosecutors have agreed to allow both to serve probation sentences. Prosecutors have not commented.

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