Michael Watkins, Accused Monkey Killer, Granted Delay For Court Hearing


Michael Watkins, 22, is charged with grand theft and burglary.

An attorney for 22-year-old Michael Watkins—accused of the Nov. 17 break-in at Zoo Boise and the violent death of a monkey—was granted more time this morning to prepare his defense.

Appearing before 4th District Court Magistrate Judge Theresa Gardunia at the Ada County Courthouse this morning, Watkins' attorney said she hadn't had enough time to analyze approximately 130 pages of legal documents surrounding the incident.

Prosecutors objected, saying they were prepared to move forward with today's previously scheduled preliminary hearing, which would have included testimony from law enforcement and zoo officials. But Gardunia granted the defense motion to push back the hearing, rescheduling the court date to Thursday, Jan. 17.

Court records had indicated that prosecutors alleged Watkins had jumped a fence at Zoo Boise and manipulated a lock to get inside the primate building and the monkey cage.

According to an unidentified companion, Watkins chased the monkey and tried to throw a coat over the animal. The companion also said 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, when the monkey was left behind. Zoo officials said the monkey died of the traumatic blows shortly thereafter.