LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

BOISE -- The man accused of breaking into Zoo Boise and killing a monkey last November told police he was injured in a downtown fight, according to authorities.

Twenty-two-year-old Michael Watkins was arraigned on charges of burglary, grand theft, and falsifying information to a police officer Thursday.

Ada County Judge Lynn Norton read Watkins his newest charge Thursday morning -- falsifying information to a police officer -- explaining that Watkins is also accused of lying about how he sustained injuries connected with the incident.

The state alleges you told officers that injuries you sustained were due to a fight in downtown Boise, Norton said.

Ada County prosecutors say on November 17, Watkins broke into Zoo Boise with the intent of stealing a patas monkey. They say the monkey fought back, biting Watkins at least once before he then used a tree branch to hit the monkey on the head and kill it.

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 originally charged Watkins with felony burglary and felony grand theft in connection with the incident.

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 the Fruitland man was simply defending himself.

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

Watkins is now scheduled to enter a new plea on January 31, where he'll face an Ada County judge on all three charges.

He faces up to 25 years in prison, along with fines of up to $56,000.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/07/01/11856541/