Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisSouth Carolina Governor tested positive for COVID-19 after wife’s diagnosis 20 percent of US prisoners infected with COVID-19: COVID-19 survey: Where are the prisoners? MORE (D) on Wednesday pardoned the parents of the so-called “balloon boy” rumor in 2009, in which they claimed that their 6-year-old son had floated in a homemade helium balloon.
Polis said in a statement that the couple “paid the price in the public eye” 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 floated in a silver helium balloon in the shape of a UFO.
His claims briefly hit the nation, prompting an immediate response from dozens of emergency teams, including two Colorado National Guard helicopters, who tried to rescue the boy allegedly trapped in the balloon while he floated in the sky on national television.
His son was eventually found safe at his home in Fort Collins. According to the AP, authorities accused the couple of staging the event in order to garner publicity for the reality shows they wanted to launch. The couple had already participated in the reality show “Wife Swap”.
Richard Heene served a month in prison after being convicted of a crime for attempting to influence a public servant. Mayumi Heene spent 20 days in prison for submitting a false report and the couple was sentenced to $ 36,000 in restitution.
In an interview with ABC News, the couple said the incident was not a scam and they really believed their son was inside the balloon.
The couple was between 16 pardons and four commutations issued by Polis.