Chimp owners convicted in Mo.

May 5, 2011 at 4:00 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 5 (UPI) -- A Missouri judge handed down convictions Wednesday for two people who brought a chimpanzee into Kansas City, where it escaped from its semi truck.

Judge Ardie Bland found March Archigo and Debbie Kaumans guilty of keeping or harboring a dangerous animal in the city after their 21-year-old chimp, Suco, escaped from the couple's semi truck Oct. 19 and broke the windshield of a police car, The Kansas City Star reported.

The defense had argued Archigo and Kaumans were not "keeping or harboring" the chimp because they were only "passing through" the city. However, the judge agreed with prosecutors the law is designed to prevent chimpanzees and other potentially dangerous animals from being brought into the city for any length of time.

Archigo was given a two-day suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay a $500 fine. Kaumans was given the same suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay a $250 fine. Both defendants were also ordered to pay $1,524.25 restitution to the city for the damage done to the police cruiser.

The chimpanzee is currently housed at the Kansas City Zoo. Assistant City Prosecutor Todd Wilcher said Archigo and Kaumans would need to obtain a court order to release Suco from the facility.

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