Christmas Came Early for Kidnap Hoax Mom

"Kidnap Hoax Mom" pleased with house arrest

Bonnie Sweeten's good behavior and her "new perspective on life" bought her a get-out of-jail-early ticket.

A judge said the kidnap hoax mom could leave prison in two months and serve the rest of her time under house arrest, within walking distance of her three children.

"She's very pleased, she's very happy," said Sweeten's attorney, Louis R. Busico, who claims Sweeten's four months in prison have changed her life.

"Spending the time behind bars, participating in a lot of therapy, helping other inmates and a most importantly no longer taking for granted that which we all do, kissing your kids goodnight, walking out your front door."

Sweeten was sentenced to between nine and 23 months after pleading guilty to identity theft and making a false report to police. During Wednesday's hearing, she told the judge she was sorry and "didn't know who she was" back in May when she called 9-1-1 claiming she and her daughter were just carjacked and abducted by two black men.

The Bucks County mother of three had actually bought one-way tickets and run off to Disney World with her 9-year old.

Investigators said Sweeten was trying to escape a mountain of money problems and an unhappy marriage. Her attorney characterized it as desperate housewife syndrome.

"I can say that she seems more remorseful and I do think the judge appreciated the fact that being incarcerated has had an impact on her," District Attorney Michelle Henry said after the judge's early release ruling.

Federal investigators are looking at allegations that Sweeten, 38, took money from family and friends to bankroll a suburban lifestyle she really couldn't afford.

But that worry seemed far away as Bonnie headed back to prison.

"Her Christmas came a little early this year," her attorney said.

Sweeten will get out of prison on Feb. 27, 2010 and serve her house arrest with a childhood friend who lives very close to Bonnie's kids.

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