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Attorney: Balloon Boy Parents To Plead Guilty

The Heene family’s bubble — or should we say balloon — looks like its about to burst: Richard Heene’s attorney David Lane on Thursday said that the science buff and his wife Mayumi will plead guilty to charges stemming from their well-publicized balloon hoax last month, when they appear in a Colorado courtroom Friday morning.

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Dad Richard is expected to plead guilty to a felony offense of attempting to influence a public servant, according to Lane, while mom Mayumi is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor offense of false reporting to authorities.

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Lane said Mayumi Heene is a citizen of Japan and could have faced deportation if she had pleaded guilty to a felony. He said the father agreed to “fall on his sword” to keep that from happening.

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The prosecutor in the case has recommended probation for the suspects, though they could receive jail time in connection with the charges, Lane said.

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A worldwide audience watched October 15, as the homemade helium balloon soared 7,000 feet over eastern Colorado for just under two hours; it was revealed during the dramatic incident that the boy’s family had gained a taste of fame on the ABC reality show Wife Swap.

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