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Ohio Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty For Punxsutawney Phil

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Maybe Punxsutawney Phil is believing a little too much in climate change this year? Severe cold weather continues to hold its grip on the Pittsburgh area, and now one Ohio prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for Punxsatawney Phil.

A prosecutor in Butler County, Ohio, Michael Gmoser, wants the groundhog to pay for his flawed prediction with his life.

He's handed out an indictment against the prognosticator of prognosticators, one count of misrepresentation of early Spring.

The indictment against Phil reportedly reads:

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. 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.

SPECIFICATION: The people further find and specify that due to the aggravating circumstances and misrepresentation to the people that the death penalty be implemented to the defendant, Punxsutawney Phil

Mike Johnston, a retired Groundhog Inner Circle member, defends Phil, telling NewsRadio 1020 KDKA's Larry Richert that the prognosticator of prognosticators is never wrong.

"The unfortunate truth is sometimes we have to deal with the uninformed," says Johnston. "This is an example of someone anticipating and expecting more than was offered. I can assure you that Phil's prediction this year said that Butler County, Ohio would experience an early spring."

Johnston further explained that Phil has infallibility, and is not burdened by site specific predictions.

"I'm sure if you talk to the folks in Texas, they would tell you they've had spring-like conditions for the past month, much more premature, much earlier, and much warmer and much hotter. So Phil was spot on."

When Larry Richert told Johnston that was a flimsy defense, Johnston responded that maybe it was human error.

"Our president Bill Deesy may have misinterpreted because as you know, Phil is incapable of error," says Johnston. "That possibility may exist."

Another issue Johnston mentioned is that Punxsutawney Phil is also dyslexic, explaining why he predicted a longer winter last year that resulted in 80 degree days, and this year's early spring prediction which has brought 30 degree days.

And what is the final word from Punxsutawney on this indictment?

"Our case was rested before it was written," says Johnston.

Mike Johnston

Gmoser says that he is just having "a little fun" with the indictment.

But what about Ohio's imposter groundhog forecaster, Buckeye Chuck? He also predicted early spring.

Gmoser tells KDKA that he has no plans to bring him to justice, only Punxsutawney Phil.

  • Watch Phil make his prediction:
    Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring
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