Dad in balloon boy hoax begins jail time Monday

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado father convicted of orchestrating the balloon boy hoax is to begin serving his 90-day jail sentence Monday after a media blitz in which he maintained his innocence.

Richard Heene told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that the case against him is based on a purported confession by his Japanese wife who misunderstood the meaning of the word “hoax.”

He says his wife occasionally cries about statements she made to the police and believes he’s going to jail “because of what she said.”

Heene says there was no hoax, even though he pleaded guilty and agreed to spend 90 days in jail. He says he truly believed his son was inside the runaway balloon when it floated away in October, and that he pleaded guilty only to appease authorities and save his wife from being deported.

Authorities say they never brought up the issue of deportation with the Heenes.