Richard and Mayumi Heene Plead Guilty
Richard Heene, the father of "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene, pleaded guilty Friday to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant stemming from the families' Oct. 15 hoax, according to CNN.
Heene lawyer: Arresting Heene parents in front of kids "would be 'child abuse'"
His wife, Mayumi Heene, is charged with one misdemeanor count of false reporting to authorities.
According to the Larimer County sheriff's office, Heene turned himself in Thursday and was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
The penalty range for the felony is two to six years in prison with a fine ranging from $2,000 to $500,000. His wife's misdemeanor range is six months in jail with a fine of $50 to $750, according to a statement issued by the district attorney's office.
In a statement, the Heenes' attorneys said that prosecutors have agreed to a sentence of probation with the possibility of up to 90 days in jail for Heene and probation with the possibility of up to 60 days in jail for his wife.
The possibility of Mayumi's deportation played a role in the plea-deal negotiation. "Mayumi Heene is a citizen of Japan. As such, any felony conviction or certain misdemeanors would result in her deportation, even though her husband and children are Americans," the statement said. "It is supremely ironic that law enforcement has expressed such grave concern over the welfare of the children, but it was ultimately the threat of taking the children's mother from the family and deporting her to Japan which fueled this deal."
Prosecutors would like the Heenes to serve some time in jail, but the final decision will be made by a judge at a Dec. 23 sentencing hearing, according to The Associated Press.