Last week, the nation watched on TV and worried along with the parents of 6-year-old Falcon Heene that the young boy may have floated off in a flying-saucer-like contraption constructed by his father. The escapade was supposed to have reached a happy ending when Falcon was discovered hiding in a box in his home and did not, as some had feared after the runaway balloon landed without him in it, fall to the ground and get hurt.
Following the bizarre incident, the family was barraged by media outlets wanting to interview Richard and Mayumi Heene and their three children. The scrutiny got more intense after young Falcon, when asked on CNN’s Larry King Live why he didn’t respond when he heard his parents calling for him, replied “You guys said we did this for the show.”
The Heenes have explained that Falcon, who is just 6, was confused. He also appears to not have been feeling well considering that the next day he vomited on national television.
Now, police are saying that the Heenes staged the whole misadventure and that criminal charges are likely. Authorities claim they told the media on Friday that they didn’t think the balloon boy story was a hoax because they wanted to maintain the couple’s trust. They called this their “game plan” to find out the truth.
Investigators interviewed Mayumi and Richard, administered polygraph tests, and then looked through their home for phone records, computer records, video footage, and other possible evidence.
Yesterday, the sheriff said possible criminal charges against the couple may include conspiracy, attempting to influence a public servant, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and filing a false police report. He claims the family staged the hoax in order to promote themselves for a reality TV program. The family has already appeared on ABC’s Wife Swap.
The Heene’s criminal defense lawyer has issued a reminder that no charges have yet to be filed against his clients. He noted that just because the sheriff announced that the couple was guilty of hoax does not mean that they actually did anything wrong.
Our Boston criminal defense lawyers believe that anyone accused of committing a crime is entitled to the best defense. Just because you are accused of committing a crime does not mean that you are guilty.
Lawyer: Family in balloon incident ‘under siege,’ USA Today, October 19, 2009
Balloon boy family feels ‘under siege,’ lawyer says, CNN, October 19, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Timeline Of Balloon Boy Events, The Denver Channel
In Massachusetts, contact our Boston criminal defense attorneys today.