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Groundhog ‘Indicted:’ Punxsutawney Phil Charged With Fraud

By Alex Johnston
Epoch Times Staff
Created: March 22, 2013 Last Updated: March 25, 2013
Related articles: United States » Northeast
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Groundhog “indicted”: Punxsutawney Phil, the famous prognosticating groundhog, was served with a “criminal indictment.”

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the top hat of his handler after Phil did not see his shadow and predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on Feb. 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the top hat of his handler after Phil did not see his shadow and predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on Feb. 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Punxsutawney Phil, the famed groundhog who forecasts whether winter weather will stick around for six more weeks, is facing a “criminal indictment” for falsely predicting spring to come early.

“Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early,” prosecutor Mike Gmoser, who works in southern Ohio’s Butler County, said in joke indictment, according to The Associated Press.

Gosmer said that Phil, who emerges from his home in Gobbler’s Knob, Penn., to make his prognostication on Feb. 2 every year, should get the death penalty.

If Phil sees his shadow, then its six more weeks of winter. But if he does not, spring comes early.

However, the current weather across the United States has been rather frigid and snowy up until this week. Weather forecasts for Colorado to Ohio have said that another, late-season winter storm is going to hit this weekend.

“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,’ ” Gosmer told WXIX television.

And regarding the proposed death sentence, Gmoser reasoned that “Phil is already behind bars. He’s got a life sentence…There’s no sentence left for Phil,” reported ABC News.

Phil handler John Griffiths defended the rodent.

“If you remember two weeks ago on a Sunday, it was probably 60, 65 degrees,” Griffiths jokingly told WXIX. “So, I mean, that basically counts as an early spring.”

Bill Deely, the head of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, told ABC News that he should be blamed for the bad prediction because he misinterpreted Phil.

But, he asked of Gosmer, “Doesn’t he have better things to do than do this?”

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