03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Lance Hering, Marine Who Staged Own Disappearance Escapes Felony Again

Lance Hering, the troubled former Marine who triggered the most expensive man-hunt in Boulder County history when he staged his own disappearance in August of 2006, again escaped felony charges today by striking a plea deal with prosecutors.

Hering told police he fled to avoid having to return to Iraq.

Under the terms of Monday's plea deal, Hering, who was on probation when he disappeared in 2006, will plead guilty to false reporting, a misdemeanor charge that would have resulted in a felony due to Hering's probation. Hering will now be placed back on probation for 18 months.

From the Denver Post:

Hering must perform 200 hours of community service, stay out of trouble, and continue with his mental health treatment. If he successfuly does that, the charges will be wiped off his record on April 5, 2011.

From the Boulder Daily Camera:

Hering's disappearance triggered the largest search effort in Boulder County history, costing the Sheriff's Office more than $33,000. Hering's family has since paid back that amount to the county.

Hering has been given an other than honorable discharge from the marines.