Richard Heene and Mayumi Heene are Going to Jail for Balloon Boy Hoax

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
FORT COLLINS, Colorado (CBS) "Balloon Boy's" parents Richard and Mayumi Heene have been sentenced to real jail time.

Choking back tears, Richard Heene apologized for the elaborate "Balloon Boy" hoax that captivated the nation, and said he especially wanted to apologize to rescue workers who tirelessly chased the silver balloon they believed held 6-year-old Falcon Heene.

Photo: Richard and Mayumi Heene arrive at court for sentencing on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009

PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident

Heene was sentenced to 90 days in jail including 60 days of work release, and four years probation, by a Larimer County judge Wednesday. The judge also granted a prosecution request that Richard Heene be barred from profiting from the incident in any way for four years.

Photo: Six-year-old Falcon Heene is shown with his father, Richard, outside the family's home in Fort Collins, Colo., Oct. 15, 2009.

PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident

During the same hearing, represented by her own lawyer, Mayumi Heene was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

Photo: A rescue worker chases down the Heene aircraft believed to carry Falcon Heene

PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident

What came to be known as the "Balloon Boy" saga began on Oct. 15, 2009 when a large silver balloon came loose from its moorings in the Heenes' yard and drifted over eastern Colorado. Mayumi Heene called 911 and said the couple's 6-year-old son, Falcon, was inside the craft.

Photo: The Balloon-like aircraft landed in a field in Colorado.

PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident

Millions of people across the country watched the saga on television for nearly two hours as military aircraft tracked the balloon in the air and rescuers chased it below. When the boy was not found in the balloon an area-wide search began for what many believed would be the dead body of young Falcon Heene.

Falcon later surfaced, without a scratch, from a hiding place in the attic of the Heene home and it was later discovered, through accidental slips on national television by Falcon Heene and eventually a full confession by Mayumi Heene, that the whole thing was a publicity-seeking hoax.

The couple had previously appeared on ABC's reality series "Wife Swap" and reportedly had a new reality show concept to pitch.

In his argument during sentencing, Richard Heene's defense attorney said the ensuing national outcry for justice became an outcry for vengeance and his client is being punished not for his actions but for the reactions. He likened the "Balloon Boy" hoax to the Orson Wells radio show "War of the Worlds" in 1938 which caused mass hysteria as listeners believed there was an actual Martian invasion taking place.

The judge delayed the date the Heenes must begin serving their time to January 11, in part to allow them to spend the holidays with their three sons and to allow Richard Heene to wrap up business deals he had in progress. No word if one of those deals is a reality show.

PICTURES: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident
Audio: Richard Heene's Frantic 911 Call

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