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Law student gets boot camp in Vegas exotic bird death

Posted at 9:14 AM, Oct 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-17 09:14:04-04

LAS VEGAS (KVVU) — A California law student, who pleaded guilty in connection to decapitation of an exotic bird at a Las Vegas Strip resort, was ordered to go to boot camp for six months.

A judge required Justin Teixeira, 24, to go to High Desert Prison boot camp for 180 days before an official sentencing will be given on April 14, 2014. At that time, a judge may sentence Teixeira to probation if he completes the boot camp term.

According to court documents, Teixeira and his University of California, Berkeley, classmate, Eric Cuellar, were charged with felony animal torture and killing another person’s animal in the October 2012 incident.

The animal who died was Turk, a helmeted guinea fowl that was part of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino’s Wildlife Habitat, according to police.

In documents, surveillance video captured the two chasing the bird into trees. A witness told police the men then emerged from the trees, carrying the body and severed head of the bird.

In January, Cuellar pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of torture, injuring, abandoning or starving an animal. Teixeira originally was set to go to trial on the charges before pleading guilty in June.

Teixeira could be eventually sentenced to prison, county jail time, probation or other punishments.

A group, which has been pushing for the Clark County district attorney to follow through with felony charges, also staged a protest during Teixeira’s appearance Wednesday.

Nevada Voters for Animals said it was holding an animal cruelty protest outside of the Regional Justice Center before the sentencing.