On Monday, a law school graduate from the University of California, Berkeley was sentenced up to four years probation and 16 hours of animal shelter work per month for be-heading a chicken sized exotic bird, in a Las Vegas Strip resort in October 2012. Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, apologized to the state of Nevada and to the people affected by the death of the Helmeted Guineafowl named Turk. “It was the worst moment of my life,” Teixeira said since the incident. “If there was anything I could do to undo it, I would.”
Teixeira and two other Berkeley students, Eric Cuellar and Hazhir Kargaran, were caught on security video laughing and chasing the bird in a habitat garden area. Teixeira wrung the animal’s neck, tossed the bird’s body and flipped the head into some nearby rocks in front of horrified hotel guests.
Teixeira, plead guilty to one felony charge of killing another person’s animal. He completed a 190-day prison boot camp at Indian Springs instead of time behind bars. Cuellar, 26, and Kargaran, 27, each pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges. Each was fined and sentenced to community service.
Teixeira may not be able to practice law unless he can get the felony reduced to a misdemeanor after completing probation. Clark County District Court Judge Stefany Miley was told that Teixeira received top honors in his 190 day prison boot camp at Indian Springs. During his time there, he was notified that he passed the California bar exam.
The judge came down hard with her sentence. She told Teixeira, his animal shelter commitment will last as long as his probation, regardless of other employment or school enrollment.
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