BOISE – The man accused of killing a patas monkey at Zoo Boise in November has waived his right to a preliminary and will be arraigned in District Court next week.
Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Shawna Dunn says 22-year-old Michael Watkins now faces a third charge in the deadly attack. He has been charged with providing false information to law enforcement, a misdemeanor. He was previously charged with felony burglary and grand theft.
Prosecutors says Watkins entered Zoo Boise on Nov. 17 with the intent of stealing the monkey, but the monkey bit him and that prompted Watkins to bludgeon the monkey to death with a tree branch.
Since the monkey's death there has been a lot of public outcry and changes at the zoo. Security has been increased and recently Zoo Boise acquired two female patas monkeys from a zoo in Syracuse, New York, to provide companionship for the lone patas monkey. Fundraising for a new monkey exhibit is also going well, with nearly $220,000 raised so far.
Watkins will be back in court for his arraignment on Jan. 17.
If convicted, prosecutors say he faces up to six months in prison for the providing false information charge, 10 years for the burglary charge, and 14 years for the grand theft charge.