Colorado parents sentenced for “balloon boy” hoax Jailed


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The parents in Colorado's "balloon boy" hoax were handed jail sentences on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges stemming from the incident.

Richard Heene, 48, showed no emotion as Judge Stephen Schapanski handed him a 90-day sentence — which will begin in January — before a packed court-room in Fort Collins, outside Denver.

"This in simple terms was an elaborate hoax that was devised by Mr and Mrs Heene," Schapanski said. 

Both also were placed on probation for four years, and will be ordered to pay fines and restitution that will be calculated following a later hearing.

The sentencing of Richard and Mayumi Heene, who have three sons, ended a two-month legal saga that began on October 15 with what authorities said was a publicity stunt aimed at gaining the family their own reality television show.

As a condition of their probation, the judge barred the couple from earning any financial benefit, such as from a book deal or other media venture, that might be generated by the so-called "ba
lloon-boy" escapade.

The father was ordered to report to jail by January 11 to begin serving his term. His wife will start her sentence once the husband completes his.

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