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'Balloon Boy' Parents Sentenced to Jail Time

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The Colorado parents who orchestrated the so-called balloon-boy hoax in October were both sentenced to prison terms on Wednesday.

Richard Heene, 48, received 90 days in jail and four years’ probation, ABC News reports. His wife, Mayumi Heene, 45, was given 20 days behind bars and four years’ probation.

They also received community service (100 hours and 120 hours, respectively), and are barred from profiting financially in any way from the incident for at least four years.

The hoax occurred on Oct. 15, when the Heenes claimed their 6-year-old son Falcon had floated away from the family’s Fort Collins home in a homemade balloon. In fact, the boy was hiding in the house at the time.

Richard Heene offered a brief apology at the sentencing. “I do want to reiterate that I’m very, very sorry,” he said. “And I want to apologize to all the rescue workers out there and the people that got involved in the community. That’s it.”

Mayumi Heene declined to make a statement.

In making a case for jail time, Larimer County chief deputy district attorney Andrew Lewis told the court: “Mr. Heene wasted a lot of man power and a lot of money in wanting to get himself some publicity,” and said the court should make an example of him.
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