The Colorado couple accused of lying to authorities by saying that their 6-year-old son was aboard a runaway helium balloon last month will plead guilty in exchange for probation, one of their lawyers said Thursday.
The husband, Richard Heene, will plead guilty to a charge of attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, the lawyer, David Lane, said in a statement. Mr. Heene’s wife, Mayumi, will plead to making a false report to the authorities, a misdemeanor, the lawyer said.
The couple is expected to enter their pleas Friday morning at the Larimer County Justice Center, Mr. Lane said. As part of their agreement with prosecutors, he added, the couple had agreed to probation, The New York Times reports.
It was also reported, Richard and Mayumi Heene, parents of the now infamous "Balloon Boy" have turned themselves in based upon threats of deportation of Mayumi back to Japan.
Making a deal with authorities, Richard will plead guilty of attempting to influence a public servant, which is a felony charge, and potentially faces 90 days in jail. Mayumi, on the other hand, might face up to 60 days in jail by pleading guilty of making a false report. This carries a misdemeanor charge, which will keep her from being deported. Husband Richard dramatically declared he would "fall on a sword" before that would happen.
Even though the whole family was involved in the hoax, the sons of the family will not be charged because of their ages, TheCelebrityCafe.com reports.
Mr Lane said Mr Heene agreed to "fall on his sword" by admitting the felony charge to prevent his wife - a Japanese national - being ordered out of the US.
The stipulated sentences for both are probation, his statement said, with the possibility of up to 60 days in jail for Mrs Heene and up to 90 days for Mr Heene.
Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden had earlier suggested that the couple could have faced charges of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor - which carry jail terms of up to six years, BBC News reports.