FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - The father of the so-called Balloon Boy begins a 30-day jail sentence today in Larimer County, Colorado.
The jail stint will be followed by 60 days of work release. A judge also ordered Richard Heene (HEE'-nee) to pay restitution for the search and rescue, which a local newspaper (Fort Collins Coloradoan) says has been pegged at $48,000.
Despite his guilty plea and emotional apology at his sentencing, Heene now says the incident was not a hoax. In media interviews, he's saying he truly thought his son was aboard the balloon in October. The tracking of the balloon captured national attention.
Heene told NBC's "Today Show" that he only pled guilty to protect his wife, so she wouldn't be deported to Japan.