BOISE -- The man who broke into Zoo Boise and killed a monkey back in November has been sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Michael Watkins must serve at least a two-year fixed sentence in prison before he's eligible for parole, in addition to the six months he has already served in jail. And if he completes a Rider Program while in prison, he could spend the last five years of his sentence on supervised probation.
The 22-year-old Weiser man will also have to pay a $1,000 fine.
Judge Lynn Norton spoke to Watkins before his sentencing and said he had several opportunities to make different decisions, calling his actions immature. Watkins nodded his head in agreement to the judge's comments.
The judge also said, to say Watkins was intoxicated would be an understatement, on the night of the crime.
Watkins' attorney also spoke and said there was never any intention to harm the monkey when the night began, but that it was a stupid prank to get into the zoo and quickly went from bad to worse.
Before Thursday's sentencing, Watkins stood up and made an apologetic statement before the court. He said: "I know that my actions were selfish, and they impacted both Zoo Boise and the public, and Boise itself. And, I just would like to formally apologize to all involved, and all that my actions affected."
The incident in question happened in the early morning hours of Saturday, November 17, 2012. That's when Watkins drunkenly broke into the zoo and fought with the monkey, eventually wounding and killing it with a tree branch.
Watkins had previously agreed to pay restitution for damages and the cost of the monkey.