Prosecutors in Connecticut reportedly have no plans to charge the owner of the chimp who ripped off a woman's face earlier this year, sources close to the investigation tell the Associated Press. An official announcement is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Watch the announcement here:
In February, chimp owner Sandra Herold asked Charla Nash to help her lure the animal back into Herold's house. Instead, the 200-pound chimp went berserk, tearing off Nash's hands, lips, nose and eyelids.
Attorneys for Herold and Nash say they have no knowledge of the prosecutor's decision, and could not comment on it. Nash's family is suing Herold for $50 million, and may sue the state for $150. The family says Herold was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control "a wild animal with violent propensities."
A biologist for the state Department of Environmental Protection warned officials before the attack that the chimp could seriously hurt someone if he felt threatened, noting that he was large and strong. The animal was shot and killed by police after the attack.
Herold's attorney has an interesting strategy to fight the lawsuit. He has called the attack work-related, and said the case should be treated like a workers' compensation claim. The strategy, if successful, would limit potential damages in the case and insulate the chimp owner from personal liability.