Punxsutawney Phil indicted for false informing

Published: Mar. 21, 2013 at 6:15 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2013 at 3:32 AM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Officials in Butler County, Ohio have indicted a famous groundhog for the rash of cold winter-type weather we've been having.

The indictment, filed by Butler County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Gmoser, alleges that on or about February 02, 2013, at Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with
prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early.

"I woke up this morning and the wind was blowing, the snow was flying, the temperatures were falling, and I said 'Punxsutawney, you let us down,'" said Gmoser.

The suit goes on to say that, "contrary to the Groundhog Day report, a snowstorm and record low temperatures have been and are predicted to continue in the near future, which constitutes the offense of MISREPRESENTATION OF EARLY SPRING, a Unclassified Felony, and against the peace
and dignity of the State Of Ohio." {See the full indictment here}

"There's only one person that can do something about this for the citizens of Butler County, and that's me," added Gmoser.

The head of the county's law enforcement says he'll do what he's supposed to do to bring justice.

"Hopefully, like I said, Pennsylvania cooperates with our prosecutor. My job is just to carry out the court orders and the indictments. My job is not to question," said Sheriff Richard K. Jones.

But, one of Phil's handlers says not so fast!

"If you remember two weeks ago on a Sunday, it was probably 60, 65 degrees. So, I mean, that basically counts as an early spring," said John Griffiths, one of Phil's co-handlers.

What's in store now for Phil? Pending an extradition hearing, Gmoser says it's curtains for the little guy, suggesting that the penance for such a misrepresentation should be the death penalty.

"Since he's already serving a life sentence behind bars, as you know. There wasn't much left as far as a penalty other than a death sentence," added Gmoser.

The high on Thursday in Cincinnati was 37 degrees.

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