Accused Monkey Killer Set For Wednesday Sentencing in Boise Court

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Michael Watkins, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted grand theft and animal cruelty.
  • Michael Watkins, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted grand theft and animal cruelty.

The young Weiser man, charged with the November 2012 brutal beating death of a Patas monkey at Zoo Boise, is scheduled for sentencing the morning of Wednesday, May 15, at the Ada County Courthouse.

22-year-old Michael Watkins pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of attempted grand theft and a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. Prosecutors dropped other felony charges of grand theft and burglary in exchange for the guilty plea.

Wakins faces a possible sentence of seven years behind bars for the attempted grand theft charge and six months for the animal cruelty charge. He has been held at the Ada County Jail since November 2012, following his arrest.

Prosecutors alleged Watkins jumped a fence at Zoo Boise and manipulated a lock to get inside the primate building and the monkey cage.

An unidentified companion allegedly told authorities that Watkins chased the monkey and tried to throw a coat over the animal, and that Watkins was bitten by the monkey. The man said he also heard a loud bang shortly before he saw Watkins carrying the monkey in his coat.

A zoo security guard reportedly scared the two men off a short time later, and the monkey was left behind. Zoo officials said the monkey suffered blunt force trauma to the head and died of the injuries shortly thereafter.

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