Groundhog death penalty sought

Off with his head! (AP Photo)

Off with his head! (AP Photo)

A weather-predicting rodent faces the death penalty after seriously botching what seems to be his only job.

Fox 19, a TV station in Cincinnati, has the story.

Prosecutor Michael Gmoser alleges in an indictment that “on or about Feb. 2, 2013 … 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 in the Fox 19 article.

The indictment accuses the misguided rat of “misrepresentation of early spring,” an unclassified felony “against the peace and dignity of the State of Ohio.”

Gmoser seeks to extradite the mutant squirrel from his home in Gobbler’s Knob, located near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Court watchers polled by this reporter believe Pennsylvania officials will deny extradition requests to preserve Phil’s life and the tourism industry in the otherwise nondescript villa.

An attorney for Punxsutawney Phil could not be reached for comment because he’s likely in Hawaii with his client enjoying awesome weather.

Lilburn groundhog Gen. Beauregard Lee, who correctly predicted winter would hang around, is perhaps cackling gleefully at his prognosticating foe’s misfortune.

But some humans think the call for Phil’s furry and somewhat cute head is unwarranted.

Veteran AJC reporter Mike Morris, who through some sort of career mishap has covered more Groundhog’s Day stories than Bill Murray, said, “I’m sure that the Ohio district attorney has his tongue planted firmly in cheek, or at least I hope so, because if Punxy Phil can be prosecuted for missing a forecast, can human forecasters be far behind?”

59 comments Add your comment


March 22nd, 2013
7:47 am

The poor thimg is punished already..he or she lives in the window at the library.


March 22nd, 2013
7:51 am


March 22nd, 2013
8:14 am

If we are going to do that then. Lets come up with a punishment for lawmakers stating on public record that marines were killed because of budget sequestration or 700,000 American jobs are also going to be lost due to nothing more than a reduction in the rate of spending and not a budget cut. Free Punxsutawney Phil!!!!!!!!!!!!!


March 22nd, 2013
8:31 am

Lord hve mercy on US, why hurt him or her, let them go!. This is the Lord’s world.


March 22nd, 2013
8:52 am

Rick D.

March 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

“The Onion”, days ago, had the headline “Punxsutawney Phil Beheaded For Inaccurate Prediction…”


March 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

Not funny at all. The ‘wanted for fraud’ photo going around on Facebook was cute, but this is just in extremely poor taste.

Inquiring Isaac

March 22nd, 2013
9:06 am

If this groundhog deserves a penalty of this magnitude for a simple missed weather prediction, what type of punishment have 0bamaJiveTalker, Buffoon Bush & Darth Cheney earned for what that have done to our nation & its economy?

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

March 22nd, 2013
9:38 am

Okay to all the animal fanatics, it’s just a JOKE. Don’t get in your cars and head north for goodness sake.


March 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

Tax payers money going to waste.Prosecutor Michael Moser is this all you got to do.I think they need to axe your job.Put the blame on an animal,just like a State official to do.

Dr. R

March 22nd, 2013
9:59 am

I saw this on The Onion, which is probably where it originated. No one is going to kill the little beast you bleeding heart whackjobs. Lighten up already. Everything doesn’t have to be a BFD.


March 22nd, 2013
9:59 am

Does anybody takes the weather predictions of this groundhog seriously? He/She is just a cute animal.


March 22nd, 2013
10:01 am

I think it’s hilarious. Obviously satire for those of the crella ilk in life.


March 22nd, 2013
10:19 am

That “attorney” should have an indictment thrown on him for cruelty to animals. This is just stupid!

mrs. tibetha

March 22nd, 2013
10:22 am

This is sick and sad. I hope the people responsible for this face justice.

Yet another example of america devolving.


March 22nd, 2013
10:27 am

Just a joke… Please let it be just that. And has no tie-in with” Evil “G.W. Bush,” Devil” Cheney, or “no Clue” Obama, as some call them, or sequestration problems. Keep politics out of it.


March 22nd, 2013
10:49 am

he is as good as road kill now!


March 22nd, 2013
11:04 am

That’s ok. He’ll die and the day will start over…

Robin P

March 22nd, 2013
11:10 am

Did this poor Critter sign a legal contract professing he/she would accurately predict future weather. Is he/she really aware as to why these old, ugly, strange looking Humans are all gathered around his/her place of residence every year?. Then he/she is required their appeal rights with legal representation.


March 22nd, 2013
11:12 am

Oh wow, please tell me you understand that this is a joke…


March 22nd, 2013
11:15 am

It amazes me sometimes how stupid some people are. Some of you will beleive anything and comment like it’s the gospel truth. LOL


March 22nd, 2013
11:16 am

Really? This guy has nothing better to do with his time than WASTE taxpayer $$ with this??? GET A LIFE!

David E.

March 22nd, 2013
11:20 am

Have you people who are angered by this had your senses of humor surgically removed? (You know they have a surgery for that. Medicaid will even pay for it too.) This is a joke. No one is going to give the groundhog the death penalty. No one is going to spend any taxpayer money prosecuting a groundhog.
I might also add a warning to all of you are gullible enough to believe this story: April Fool’s Day is right around the corner. Be prepared. Folks like you will be buying in completely while the rest of us get a good old chuckle.


March 22nd, 2013
11:26 am

Proof that one can not trust a yankee groundhog.


March 22nd, 2013
11:38 am

The A.G. in Ohio has no case. First off, this BS about seeing his shadow or not was determined by humans. The Rodent did not invent this. He wakes up, does his business and then goes back to sleep until he has to go to the bathroom again. Nothing in writing, and no verbal guarantees. At least this is better than reporting about some clown coming out of the closet. (or another oblunder speech in the middle of an important game)

tanya campbell

March 22nd, 2013
12:08 pm

the whole groundhog day thing is all in fun..why is this guy getting so bent outa shape about it? dang just leave the poor groundhog alone and find something better to waste your time and money on.

Joey M

March 22nd, 2013
12:14 pm

We have $4.00 gas, rising utility bills, raging unemployment, a new tax system that is costing us even more….. And the AJC wants to write about killing a rodent? I’m convinced Liberals are morons.

Robin P

March 22nd, 2013
12:17 pm


March 22nd, 2013
12:19 pm

I was literally laughing out loud when I read the story but then I read the comments from all of these outraged people and became frightened. Relax people…IT’S A JOKE! The groundhog is safe and the taxpayers of PA will not have to shell out money for this trial.

chick magnet

March 22nd, 2013
12:49 pm

So much for theory about global marmot-ing.


March 22nd, 2013
12:51 pm

Did you know the weather people on TV have the highest salaries of all the on-air “talent”? If the rest of us were wrong as often as they are, we’d be out of a job.

Meanwhile, some of the posts to this article are proof that stupid people should not be allowed to own computers.


March 22nd, 2013
12:52 pm

I appear to be in the minority – but I thought it was pretty funny.


March 22nd, 2013
12:56 pm

he’ll probably run for Congress


March 22nd, 2013
1:09 pm

Poor performance? No problem, I’m sure there’s a spot for old Punxsutawney Phil in the Obama Administration!


March 22nd, 2013
1:20 pm

Hilarious! Thanks, George. Lighten up, some of you! If you lived up there, you’d have to think of something funny to make the long winters go by faster.

The Man

March 22nd, 2013
1:24 pm

My goodness, some people take themselves so seriously. Lighten up and enjoy the joke


March 22nd, 2013
1:52 pm

Actually groundhogs are quite tasty, baked with sweet taters

Tap Out

March 22nd, 2013
1:55 pm

Give Phil a pass, Fox “News” and it’s associates were more wrong on the election, and they were allowed to live.

Old Violin

March 22nd, 2013
1:59 pm

This was a great article, and I took it for what it was worth. A joke ! It was funny and it was a break from all the terrible news we usually hear or read. Did someone actually take this as a slap against animals ? Mr.
Grmoser, thank you very much for the article….it was good to see a sense of humor in a sensitive
work enviroment.

work inviroment


March 22nd, 2013
2:27 pm

He’s too fat and cuddly to put down. Nooooooo! :)


March 22nd, 2013
2:36 pm

well, it’s not like he volunteered for the job… give him a break!!

Aunt Pittypat

March 22nd, 2013
3:12 pm

Let me guess, Gmoser is a republican.

Road Scholar

March 22nd, 2013
4:08 pm

alan: …and get elected!

shani: What is worse is it is in Pennsylvania!

I am having second thoughts on my next career in my next life: I was wanting to be a weatherman. Where else can you make 6 figures, talk about fishing/golf all the time, and be wrong 90% of the time, and keep your job? With this death threat , I may decide to be a politician! Oh wait,…….

that death threat thingee!

This blog has reaffirmed my belief that half of the people have an active brain, a sense of humor, and the ability to keep life in prospective. The other half have their heads up their a.–!


March 22nd, 2013
5:04 pm

if this is what you get for a bad weather prediction, all meterologists would cease to exist…

Animal Lover Forever

March 22nd, 2013
5:46 pm

Leave the poor thing alone!! If they want, hey can ship him/her to Georgia. We’ll gladly take him/her. Phil needs a little Southern Hospitality right about NOW!!!!! Besides, I don’t care what either groundhog says about Spring, I think God’s plan was already in place before the beginning of time and we were going to have six more weeks of Winter regardless. I’m sorry this burden was ever placed on the poor groundhogs!!!


March 22nd, 2013
5:51 pm

The groundhog promised nothing and signed no contract with anyone promising anything. It does not speak English or any human language, cannot understand right from wrong, and is not capable of writing even as much as it’s own name. These limitations are known to all involved and therefore speak not only to the incompetence of the defendant to stand trial, but also speak to the incompetence of any and all parties who would seek to hold this creature accountable for actions it did or did not take.

Or to make it simple, the prosecutor is an idiot. Disbarment might be appropriate. Embarrassment for sure.


March 22nd, 2013
6:18 pm

I know this is a joke but it is really NOT FUNNY.


March 22nd, 2013
6:25 pm

Hang his sorry butt till he stops wigglin, then fry him up in a skillet with brown gravy. C’mon boys, lets storm the town and take him! Let’s skin him and make a pair of UGG boots.


March 22nd, 2013
6:56 pm

Lesson for the Day: Never believe in a Yankee Groundhog. Once again, the South Was Right!


March 22nd, 2013
7:02 pm