Bal­loon hoax: 2 plead guilty

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

FORT COLLINS: The Colorado cou­ple ac­cused of pulling a spec­tac­u­lar hoax by re­port­ing their son was aboard a ru­n­away bal­loon are set to avoid more spec­ta­cle – and a trial – by plead­ing guilty to charges that could bring some jail time and pro­ba­tion.

Richard and Mayumi Heene yes­ter­day pleaded guilty to a felony charge of at­tempt­ing to in­flu­ence a pub­lic ser­vant and Mayumi to a mis­de­meanor charge of false re­port­ing, ac­cord­ing to Richard’s at­tor­ney, David Lane.

The pleas were part of an agree­ment to avoid pos­si­ble de­por­ta­tion of Mayumi to her na­tive Ja­pan should she be con- victed in court of greater charges, Lane said. Sen­tenc­ing will be at a later date.

The agree­ment would spare the Heenes max­i­mum prison time. Richard could get up to 90 days in jail and Mayumi up to 60, Lane said.

Without the deal, the charge against Richard, 48, would have car­ried up to six years in state prison and a fine of up to $500 000 (R3.7m).

On Oc­to­ber 15, res­cuers chased a home­made bal­loon for 80km af­ter the Heenes re­ported their six-year-old son Fal­con may have been trapped in­side. The Heenes later an­nounced they found the boy hid­ing at home. – Sapa-AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.