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Berkeley law student sentenced for killing exotic bird in Las Vegas

October 16, 2013|By Samantha Schaefer

A UC Berkeley law school graduate student was sentenced to six months at a prison boot camp Wednesday for beheading an exotic bird during a drunken chase at a Las Vegas Strip resort.

Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, will serve his sentence at a prison boot camp at High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs outside Las Vegas. Upon successful completion of the program and three to five years of probation, his felony charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor, the Associated Press reported. He could face one to four years in prison if he fails the program.

Teixeira pleaded guilty to decapitating the bird, avoiding trial on the charge, as well as two other felony counts that could have led to up to eight years in prison, according to the Associated Press.

Two other UC Berkeley students involved in the incident, Eric Cuellar, 25, and Hazhir Kargaran, 26, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors. They were fined and sentenced to community service.

Security video showed Teixeira and the two other students laughing and chasing a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl, a chicken-sized bird, around the Flamingo Hotel’s Wildlife Habitat on Oct. 12, 2012. Teixeira wrung the bird’s neck, and tossed the body one way and the head into nearby rocks, the AP reported.

He will learn whether he passed the California bar exam next month, his attorney said. Whether he will be allowed to practice law could depend on whether the felony remains on his record. 


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Twitter: @Sam_Schaefer

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