Suspect in monkey killing back in court

Suspect in monkey killing back in court

Credit: Zach Stotland/ KTVB

Suspect in monkey killing back in court

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by KTVB.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:46 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 10:07 PM

BOISE -- The man accused of breaking into Zoo Boise and killing a patas monkey is scheduled to be in Ada Court Thursday morning.

Twenty-two-year-old Michael Watkins is set to be arraigned at the Ada County Courthouse on a new charge of providing false information to law enforcement.

Prosecutors say on November 17, Watkins broke into Zoo Boise with the intent of stealing a patas monkey.  They say when the monkey fought back, Watkins used a tree branch to hit the monkey on the head.

Boise Police later found the monkey near the zoo's fence with severe head wounds. It died a short time later.

A citizen tip helped police find Watkins and officers arrested him two days after the break-in.

Prosecutors charged Watkins with burglary and grand theft. At his first court appearance in November, Watkins' attorney said his client had been drinking and wandering around Julia Davis Park when he found himself in Zoo Boise's patas monkey exhibit. The defense attorney said the monkey attacked Watkins and that he was simply defending himself.

Prosecutors last week added a third charge against Watkins, providing false information to law enforcement.

A judge will formally read the charge to Watkins at Tuesday's arraignment and he will enter his plea. Prosecutors could also reveal the basis for the new charge.

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