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Attorney: Balloon Boy Parents To Plead Guilty

Nov. 12 2009, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

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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.

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.

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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