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Bird Killed While Trying to Save Its Owner May Be a Star Witness

September 05, 2002|From Reuters

DALLAS — A heroic cockatoo slain trying to protect its master from knife-wielding assailants may prove to be the star witness in the trial of its owner's suspected killers.

Dallas prosecutors showed a grand jury Wednesday DNA evidence from blood samples found at the scene they say links two men arrested in the case to the home of the bird's owner. The blood apparently came from a wound the bird pecked on the head of one of the suspects, said prosecutor George West.

West expects to receive an indictment this week on capital murder for the suspects, Johnny Serna, 22, and Daniel Torres, 30, for allegedly killing Kevin Butler last December over a dispute about money.

According to evidence presented to the grand jury, the two men allegedly broke into Butler's home. During a violent struggle in Butler's living room, the white-crested cockatoo named Bird, after former pro basketball great Larry Bird, swooped down on the attackers and clawed at their skin and pecked at their heads, West said.

"Bird was valiant," West said.

Bird apparently wounded Torres, but the protective member of the parrot family paid the price for trying to take on two armed foes.

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