BOISE, Idaho — A 22-year-old man who police say killed a monkey after breaking into the Boise zoo has had run-ins with the law in the last three years that include a pair of drug arrests and a conviction for driving drunk.
A day after Michael J. Watkins’ arrest, authorities attempted to answer what may have prompted the once-promising wrestler from western Idaho to enter the facility early Saturday and what he planned to do with the animal, officials said.
Members of the community and Watkins’ family also were trying to determine what could have led to the attack and why someone would do such a thing. His mother, Susan Watkins, said in a brief interview Tuesday from her home in McCall that as much as the public is perplexed by what happened, “I am too. That’s all I can say.”
She declined further comment. Other family members didn’t return phone calls.
Authorities allege the suspect entered Zoo Boise, took a patas monkey from its cage and beat it so severely it later died of head and neck injuries. He faces an arraignment hearing Wednesday in 4th District Court, where authorities say they’ll charge him with at least two felonies: burglary, for allegedly breaking into Zoo Boise, and grand theft, for taking and killing the monkey.
Arrested Monday, Michael J. Watkins was moved from a jail in Washington county to a detention facility in Ada County in Boise on Tuesday.