Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz Police South Carolina Governor tests positive for COVID-19 after wife’s diagnosis 20 percent of U.S. prisoners infected with COVID-19: research COVID-19: Where are the prisoners? MORE (D) on Wednesday pardoned the parents of the so-called “balloon boy” hoax in 2009, claiming that their 6-year-old son had hovered away in a homemade helium balloon.
Police said in a statement that the couple had “paid the price in the eyes of the public” and did not deserve to have a criminal record for the rest of their lives, according to the Associated Press.
Richard and Mayumi Heene told authorities in 2009 that their son had floated away in a silver, UFO-shaped helium balloon.
Their allegations briefly gripped the nation and elicited an immediate response from dozens of relief workers, including two helicopters from the Colorado National Guard, who were trying to rescue the boy allegedly trapped in the balloon as it floated across the sky on national television.
Their son was eventually found safe in their home in Fort Collins. According to the AP, authorities accused the couple of staging the event to drum up for commercials for reality TV shows they wanted to put on. The couple had previously participated in the reality show “Wife Swap”.
Richard Heene served a month in prison after being convicted of a crime for trying to influence a public official. Mayumi Heene spent 20 days in jail for filing a false report and the couple was ordered to pay $ 36,000 in restitution.
In an interview with ABC News, the couple maintained that the incident was not a scam and they really thought their son was inside the balloon.
The pair were among 16 pardons and four commutations issued by the Police.