Berkeley Law Student Justin Teixeira Pleads Not Guilty to Beheading Exotic Bird in Las Vegas

| by Denise A Justin
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A 25-year-old law student at the University of California, Berkeley, has pleaded not guilty to torture and animal killing charges in the alleged beheading of an exotic bird at the Flamingo resort on the Las Vegas Strip on October 12, 2012, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Justin Alexander Teixeira (shown on right in photo) appeared Monday on two felony and one gross misdemeanor charge in the death of a Helmeted Guineafowl at the resort, court records show. A jury trial is set for October 14, 2013.

The Helmeted Guineafowl is originally from Africa and is closely related to the pheasant. It has gray-black body plumage spangled with white and an unfeathered head, decorated by luminous red and blue patches of skin.


to authorities, the Flamingo resort's security video footage shows Teixeira and two other persons chasing the exotic bird to a walkway where its decapitated body was later found. The head was found amid nearby rocks.

Teixeira is due to graduate from law school this spring. A felony conviction could block his admission to a state bar.

Eric Cuellar, also a Berkeley student, pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge in the death of the bird, according to Crimesider.

(Photo: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police/Cuellar on left)

Sources: Las Vegas Sun, Wikipedia, CBS News