UPDATE: Ohio prosecutor Mike Gmoser has dropped the charges of felony misrepresentation of early spring against groundhog celeb Punxsutawney Phil saying that since the animal’s handler Bill Deeley took the rap for his furry friend, Phil has a ”defense with teeth in it.“ Gmoser concluded that rather than being the mastermind behind the early-spring deception, “…it turns out, Punxsutawney Phil is little more than a scapegoat,” a pawn in a larger game.
It’s just as well really. Gmoser had asked for the death penalty for Phil, and it’s questionable, if convicted, whether or not an executioner could ever have found a vein on the fuzzy little guy.
Criminal complaint against Phil shown below.
The week of March 18, 2013, Butler County Ohio prosecutor Mike Gmoser filed a lighthearted, though very real, criminal complaint against the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil for predicting an early spring, when we are obviously still very much in the throes of winter. The AP reported that according to the indictment, “Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early.” It should be noted the Gmoser filed the complaint well after the March 16, 2013, waiting period.
Gmoser announced plans to ask for the death penalty.
He was kidding of course, but amusingly enough, handler Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, confessed to the crime saying he misinterpreted Phil’s “groundhog-ese,” which obviously is always correct, adding “I’m the guy that did it; I’ll be the fall guy. It’s not Phil’s fault.” He says that the prediction is foolproof as long as he holds onto the magical notched “Arcadian” cane while Phil tells him the prediction. Deeley says that he still doesn’t know what went wrong, but I am sure they have top people working on the issue right now.
In light of this confession, Gmoser said he would consider issuing Phil a full pardon, saying of the defendant, “Frankly, he is a cute little rascal, a cute little thing. And if somebody is willing to step up to the plate and take the rap, I’m willing to listen.” Phil is charged with felony misrepresentation of early spring.
Read the indictment & the see the prediction below.