Prosecutor: Theft was motive in monkey killing

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

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Fafa Alidjani said Wednesday 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 Court Judge Michael Oths denied a request from Watkins’ public defender to reduce bail to $10,000, from $150,000.

Alidjani argued it shouldn’t be reduced because Watkins has a history of drug arrests, DUIs and probation violations.

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

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