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January 11, 2010

'Balloon Boy' dad reports for jail today

Posted: 03:20 PM ET

(CNN) - A man who pleaded guilty to perpetrating a hoax by saying his 6-year-old son was drifting over Colorado in a balloon began his jail sentence Monday.

Richard Heene turned himself in Monday morning at the Larimer County Detention Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, said Dean Karges, a detention services specialist at the jail.

Heene pleaded guilty in November to a felony count of attempting to influence a public servant.

Prosecutors said he and his wife staged their son's disappearance to generate publicity for themselves because they wanted to star in a reality television show.

A judge sentenced Heene to spend 90 days in custody. He will spend 30 days and nights in jail but is eligible for work release during the last 60 days of his sentence, said Linda Jensen, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

If he has a job during that time, he would get out of jail during the day and return to spend the night, she said.

He also must serve four years on probation and complete 100 hours of community service each year.

Heene told authorities in October that his son, Falcon, was drifting over eastern Colorado in a homemade balloon that had come loose from its moorings in the family's backyard. Authorities raced to track the balloon while puzzling over ways to rescue the boy inside.

Their efforts received widespread news coverage that riveted people around the nation.

(READ MORE)

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Larry King Live


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January 7, 2010

Emotional Richard Heene says balloon incident wasn't stunt

Posted: 07:00 AM ET

Check out another preview of Larry's EXCLUSIVE interview with Richard Heene, whose son was thought to be trapped in a balloon. Police later called the episode a hoax. Don't miss the full interview on Friday at 9pmET/6pmPT!

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Larry King Live


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January 6, 2010

Friday on Larry King Live: Richard Heene

Posted: 02:56 PM ET

Check out a sneak peak of Larry's EXCLUSIVE interview with Richard Heene, whose son Falcon was thought to be trapped in a homemade balloon. He says the whole thing wasn't a hoax! The full interview airs this Friday at 9pmET/6pmPT!

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Larry King Live


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Opinion: Happy holidays, Heenes

Posted: 02:24 AM ET

***Note: Richard Heene will be on Larry King Live later this week to discuss his sentencing.  The following editorial is via The Tribune.com.  The opinions expressed are their own and don't represent the views of CNN.  To read the full editorial, follow the link below.

via Tribune.com

Richard and Mayumi Heene expressed anguish while their son Falcon appeared to be missing.Hey, here's a reality television show idea for Richard Heene: Pan in on the Fort Collins man, on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floors at the Weld County Jail, sweating and red in the face, his hands raw from chemicals. Inmates taunt the man through the bars, yelling and cajoling.

Or here's another one: Heene, in a Weld County public building, doing manual labor, carpentry, janitorial work, washing fire trucks and ambulances, working hours on end and not getting paid a penny.

Unfortunately, neither of these scenarios are reality. The sad fact is, Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi, got off pretty easy for the horrendous stunt they pulled in October, when they claimed their 6-year-old son had been launched accidentally in a helium balloon.

(Read More)

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Crime • Larry King Live


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Counter Point: Balloon Boy dad and wife should not be jailed

Posted: 02:24 AM ET

***Note: Richard Heene will be on Larry King Live later this week to discuss his sentencing.  The following editorial is by Zennie Abraham of the San Francisco Chronicle.  His opinions are his own and don't represent the views of CNN.  To read his full editorial, follow the link below.

By Zennie Abraham via The San Francisco Chronicle

Richard Heene surrendered, sat for his mug shot and was released on Thursday.I'm not at all saying he shouldn't have been punished. Not at all. But ordering Richard Heene to do jail time is too simple, stupid, and wasteful of tax dollars. The judge who laid down the sentence didn't give the matter a moment of creative thought. He just bent to mob rule. Reminds me of Frankenstein, where the screaming masses of bubble-headed town folks wanted nothing but the burning-at-the-steak of the so-called "Monster."

Nuts. And if you're angry or thinking of writing some weird comment at this point, then you're part of the horde I'm complaining about. Richard Heene should have been sentenced to make a reality TV show about a non-profit organization helping battered women recover from domestic violence assaults and violent relationships.

Yep.

My point is if Richard Heene wants to be a star, so what. Let him become one in the process of helping others rather than himself. See? There are scores of domestic violence prevention programs and organizations that go unnoticed except when a star like Nicole Kidman goes to Congress to talk about the problem.

Richard Heene could have put his considerable skills to work in getting those organizations publicity and funding.

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Larry King Live


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October 19, 2009

Tonight on LKL!

Posted: 05:16 PM ET

art.father.son.kusaBalloon Boy

Were we all played on Thursday when we were glued to our TV watching a balloon we thought had a 6-year-old boy in it?  The Larimer County Sheriff thinks so, in part because of what little Falcon Heene said on LKL Thursday night.

We'll talk to the Heene's attorney, Falcon's temporary mom from the show "Wife Swap," and a former colleague of Richard Heene.

Sweat Lodge Deaths

The death toll is now at 3, and the homicide investigation continues.  Is "The Secret's" James Ray in trouble?

Attorney Mark Geragos and John Assaraf will join us.  Plus we'll hear from someone who was inside the sweat lodge.

Plus, we want to hear from you:

Do you think the balloon boy incident was a hoax?

Note: due to recent developments in these stories, Suzanne Somers, who was scheduled to air tonight, will now air Friday night.

Filed under: Balloon Boy • Larry King Live


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