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Idaho man gets prison for beating zoo monkey to death

Published May 16, 2013 12:04 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

BOISE, Idaho • An Idaho man convicted of breaking into a Boise zoo and beating to death a Patas monkey will spend up to a year in state prison, where he'll take part in a treatment program.

A state judge sentenced 22-year-old Michael Watkins on Thursday for his role in the Nov. 17 crime that caused shock and outrage in Idaho's capitol city and beyond.

Watkins gave a brief statement before sentencing, apologizing for his actions.

Fourth District Judge Lynn G. Norton rejected defense attorney requests for probation. Instead, Norton said she wanted to impose a punishment fitting the crime that still enables Watkins to turn his life around.

Watkins was convicted of felony grand theft and animal cruelty, a misdemeanor in Idaho.

The judge will revisit sentencing after Watkins completes treatment.