Balloon Parents Plead Guilty

Sentences unclear, but judge assures 'significant' monetary cost
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 1:40 PM CST
Richard and Mayumi Heene in court today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The parents of “balloon boy” Falcon Heene pleaded guilty today to charges related to the hoax that sent police and rescue personnel on a wild-goose chase. Richard Heene pleaded to a felony, Mayumi Heene—a Japanese citizen who risked deportation if she had a felony on her record—to a misdemeanor. They won't be sentenced until December, but the judge assured the defendants that “the financial consequences will be significant,” the Denver Post reports.

“Don't mess with America's emotions," the couple's lawyer said after the hearing. “America has the emotional instability of a hormonal teenager.”