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On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pardoned the parents convicted in the 2009 "balloon boy" hoax.
Richard and Mayumi Heene made headlines when they said their 6-year-old son had accidentally floated away in a homemade helium balloon.
News stations aired live footage of the balloon floating over northern Colorado for more than an hour while emergency responders attempted to rescue the boy.
The boy was later found safe at home. The couple pleaded guilty to criminal charges and served brief prison sentences.
The parents convicted in the 2009 "balloon boy" hoax were pardoned by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday, The Denver Post reported.
The couple, Richard and Mayumi Heene, made international headlines in October 2009 when they told authorities that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, had floated away in a homemade helium balloon that drifted away from their home in Fort Collins.
News stations aired live footage of the balloon, which resembled a silver flying saucer, floating over northern Colorado for more than an hour while Colorado National Guard helicopters and emergency responders attempted to rescue the boy.
When the balloon finally landed, no one was inside. The boy was discovered safe at home, hiding in the attic. Officials said the couple faked the incident for publicity to bolster their reality-TV ambitions, The Associated Press reported.
People became suspicious when, during an interview on CNN, the boy looked at his parents and said, "You said that we did this for a show."
The parents pleaded guilty to criminal charges and served brief prison sentences. Richard Heene spent one month in prison for a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant, while Mayumi Heene was charged with filing a false report and served 20 days. The family was also ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution.
"You and your wife were involved in a very high profile incident that garnered attention across Colorado and across the country," Polis said in a letter to Richard Heene granting the pardon. He said he trusted "that the legal and social consequences you have suffered in the intervening years will prevent you from ever repeating your past mistakes."
Polis also said he hoped the pardon would help Richard Heene in his attempt to get a general contractor license.
The governor also issued pardons or commutations to 20 other people, many of whom were convicted of minor drug crimes, burglary, and forgery, The Post reported.
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