Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden has announced that he expects charges to be filed against the Heene family in connection with the increasingly odd "Balloon Boy" story that has unraveled at warp speed over the past few days.
Earlier today, Gawker posted an exclusive interview with Richard Thomas, a former assistant of Richard Heene, wherein Thomas claimed that Heene, "driven by ego and fame," came up with the weather balloon hoax as a means to "to use the mainstream media to raise Richard to a status of celebrity, so he could communicate with the masses."
Heene continued to display odd behavior earlier today, calling a press conference at his home to make "a big announcement," and then instructing anyone with questions to leave their queries in a box outside of his home. "I got people e-mailing me, calling me; they've got a lot of questions, and I don't know how to quite frankly answer any of them other than I've got a box," he explained at the time.
Since the bizarre press conference this morning, Heene and his wife were been questioned by the sheriff's department for several hours, according to CNN, and according to the New York Daily News Sheriff Alderden announced that he expected to file "misdemeanor charges against one or both parents in the near future," though neither of them would be arrested just yet.
However, Alderden also stated that a Class 3 Misdemeanor, which would apply to Heene and/or his wife if they are found guilty of providing authorities with false information, "hardly seems serious enough given the circumstances. We certainly want to talk to FAA officials and federal officials to see if perhaps there aren't additional federal charges that would be more appropriate in the circumstances than what we're able to do locally."
A press conference will be held by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office tomorrow morning; we'll surely hear more at that point.
Charges Expected In Colorado Balloon Boy Case [CNN]
Sheriff: Criminal Charges Coming Against Richard Heene, Wife For Balloon Boy Incident [NYDN]
Exclusive: I Helped Richard Heene Plan A Balloon Hoax [Gawker]