As wintry cold continues around much of the U.S., the Groundhog's Day forecast for an early spring seems like a cruel joke. The prosecuting attorney of Butler County, Ohio, Michael Gmoser, wants the groundhog to pay for his lies.
Gmoser filed the following indictment against Punxsutawney Phil:
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.
Gmoser told the Washington Post that waking up to snow and temperatures well below freezing on the second day of spring served as motivation for the indictment, which he admitted was tongue-in-cheek.
“When he betrays us like this, something has to be done,” Gmoser said. “His defense will be he didn’t know his rear end from a hole in the ground."
It looks as though Gmoser might have gotten inspiration from an article posted by the satirical newspaper The Onion stating that Punxsutawney Phil had been beheaded for his prediction.