Categorized | Entertainment, News, Oddball, Television, US

Parents Sentenced In ‘Balloon Boy’ Hoax

Richard and Mayumi Heene, a Colorado couple who claimed their son floated off in a runaway helium balloon, were sentenced on Wednesday for staging the hoax.

Richard and Mayumi Heene

Richard and Mayumi Heene (AP)

Richard Heene received 90 days in jail, most of it being on a work-release basis, beginning on January 11, 2010, according to reports.  Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days of supervised public service, which she will begin following her husband’s jail time.  Both were also placed on probation for four years, and will be ordered to pay fines and restitution that will be calculated at a later hearing, according to reports.

The judge also blocked the Heenes from earning any sort of profit from the incident.

The Heenes reported to authorities on October 15, 2009, that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, had been accidentally carried away in a homemade helium balloon from their yard.  This prompted a search-and-rescue operation and gained worldwide media attention, in which television and Internet viewers said prayers that the boy would be found safe.

It was later determined that the family had hid Falcon — who was referred to by the public and media as “balloon boy” — in the attic of their garage.

Authorities said the incident was a publicity stunt geared toward the family wanting their own reality television show.  The family has previously appeared on the reality show, “Wife Swap.”

The “balloon boy” incident became a popular costume choice for Halloween 2009.

Do you think the sentence was fair?  Share your comments below.

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