Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Balloon boys parents may face criminal and other charges now that it has been declared a hoax. A New York Times story about the case is available here. Adjunct Law Prof Blog predicted that criminal charges may be filed if the incident were declared a hoax. As the article states:
Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi, have not been arrested, but Sheriff Alderden said that among the charges being considered were three felonies: conspiracy between the husband and the wife to commit a crime, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and an attempt to influence a public servant, the last of which carries a prison term of six years. The charges could also include a misdemeanor, filing a false report.
The sheriff said his conclusions were based on separate interviews of the Heenes and their three children as well as searches of their computers, e-mail records and documents in their home. He said the plot to send up a balloon and tell the authorities that Falcon was aboard was planned two weeks ago, with the aim of obtaining a contract to do a reality television show.
He said the authorities had asked a professor of physics at Colorado State University whether the balloon could fly with a 37-pound boy inside. The professor determined that this particular balloon could not, even though the compartment, put together with duct tape and plywood, could carry the boy.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein