published Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Prosecutor: Theft was motive in monkey killing

Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson, with Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns, announces the arrest of Michael J. Watkins, 22, Weiser, who investigators suspect killed a Patas monkey at Zoo Boise after breaking into the zoo early Nov. 17, at a news conference Monday at the police headquarters in West Boise, Idaho. Chief Masterson said a tip provided by the community lead to the arrest.
Boise Police Chief Michael Masterson, with Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns, announces the arrest of Michael J. Watkins, 22, Weiser, who investigators suspect killed a Patas monkey at Zoo Boise after breaking into the zoo early Nov. 17, at a news conference Monday at the police headquarters in West Boise, Idaho. Chief Masterson said a tip provided by the community lead to the arrest.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BOISE, Idaho — Prosecutors say the man accused of killing a monkey at Boise’s zoo hoped to steal the animal, but he was bitten and then he clubbed it to death with a tree branch.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani said Wednesday that Michael J. Watkins entered the zoo Saturday morning, manipulated a lock to get into the primate enclosure and removed the patas monkey by wrapping it in his jacket.

Fourth District Judge Henry Boomer denied a request from Watkins’ public defender to reduce bail from $150,000 to $10,000.

Alidjani argued bail shouldn’t be reduced because Watkins has a history of arrests from drugs and drunken driving, and probation violations.

Police have said they don’t expect others to be charged, but Watkins’ public defender, Gary Reedy, told the judge at least one individual entered the zoo with Watkins.

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