Richard and Mayumi Heene, the Colorado couple who duped law enforcement and the television-watching world by claiming their son was adrift in a homemade balloon, were sentenced to jail time for the publicity stunt, says the Denver Post. “What this case is about is deception, exploitation – exploitation of the children of the Heenes, exploitation of the media and exploitation of people’s emotions – and money,” said Judge Stephen Schapanski.
Richard Heene will serve 30 days in jail and 60 on work release. Mayumi Heene got 20 days of jail, to be served through a program that allows her to perform jail-supervised community service a couple of days a week and return home at night. The Heenes must also pay a still-to-be-determined amount of restitution, a figure that a prosecutor said could be $47,000 or more. As part of plea deals, prosecutors agreed to ask for only modest amounts of jail time and long probation sentences. Larimer County prosecutor Andrew Lewis said, “This is a deterrence to other people who want their 30 seconds of fame.”