Fort Collins, Colo. – A Colorado couple who reported their son was aboard a runaway balloon could land in jail after pleading guilty Friday to charges they made up the story to generate publicity for a possible reality TV show.
Richard Heene appeared before a Larimer County District Court judge first, pleading guilty to a felony count of falsely influencing the sheriff who led the rescue effort during the 50-mile balloon chase that captivated a global television audience Oct. 15.
Mayumi Heene pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of knowingly filing a false report with emergency services. Prosecutors said she had a lower level of culpability and cooperated with authorities, telling investigators the balloon launch was a publicity stunt two weeks in the making.
Under terms of the plea agreements, Richard Heene faces up to 90 days in jail, probation and a fine. Mayumi Heene could get 60 days, likely to be served in a work-release program, and probation.
The deal does not call for removing 6-year-old Falcon or the couple’s other two children – ages 8 and 10 – from the parents’ custody, according to David Lane, Richard Heene’s attorney.
Strip club owner pulls rolling ad
Las Vegas – Live strippers on the back of a truck is too much – even for Sin City.
A Las Vegas strip club has agreed to stop an advertising promotion that involved hauling bikini-clad exotic dancers around in a truck with clear plastic sides.
Larry Beard, marketing director of Deja Vu Showgirls, said Friday that he’s taking his lawyer’s advice and parking the truck.
“We’re going to respect the opinion of the folks that are against it,” Beard told the Associated Press.
Beard had told the AP earlier this week that he was prepared to fight county leaders and others who thought the moving truck promotion was unseemly or unsafe.
“The girls are wearing more than the girls at the swimming pool wear,” Beard said this week. “Even though they’re not stripping and taking their clothes off I think people are offended because of the idea that they do.”
The truck rolled for 13 nights along the Las Vegas Strip from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m., trying to lure customers to the club. Three sides had windows that weren’t tinted, offering views of the strippers dancing around a stripper pole.
The tactic worked, with business booming since the truck started going out, Beard said.
Pelican blamed for sports car crash
La Marque, Texas – Police say a low-flying pelican distracted a driver in Texas, causing him to veer off a road and drive his million-dollar sports car into a salt marsh.
La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist said the man claimed he lost concentration while driving his French-built Bugatti Veyron on Wednesday because the bird swooped into sight.
Gilchrist said the driver dropped his phone, reached down to pick it up and strayed into the brackish water in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.
Gilchrist said he did not know if the car could be salvaged but conceded that “saltwater isn’t good for anything.”
He said the man, whose identity has not been released, was not injured in the accident.