The Colorado parents who reported their 6-year-old son floated away aboard a helium balloon will plead guilty to some charges and serve probation so that the family can stay together, the attorney for the boy's father said Thursday.
Richard Heene will plead guilty in the alleged Oct. 15 hoax to attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, his attorney David Lane said. Mayumi Heene — a Japanese citizen who could have been deported if convicted of more serious charges — will plead guilty to false reporting to authorities, a misdemeanor, he said.
Prosecutors haven't announced whether they've filed charges in the case and didn't immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment on the plea agreement.
The saga gripped a global audience, first with fear for the safety of 6-year-old Falcon Heene and then with anger at his parents when authorities accused them of perpetrating a hoax.
After the boy was found safe at home, sheriff's officials contacted social workers to make sure the children were in a healthy environment.
Lane didn't address whether the pleas would include monitoring of the couple. Mayumi Heene's attorney, Lee Christian, did not return a call, and the Heenes didn't answer when an Associated Press reporter knocked on their door Thursday morning.
As part of the plea deal, Lane said prosecutors have agreed to let both parents serve probation sentences. The most serious of the charges recommended by Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden would have carried a maximum sentence of six years in prison.