UC Berkeley students charged for killing exotic bird in Las Vegas casino

Charges were filed Thursday against two UC Berkeley School of Law students accused of decapitating an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino in October.

The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has charged 24-year-old Justin Teixeira with felony killing and felony torturing of an animal, while 24-year-old Eric Cuellar is charged with a misdemeanor of instigating, engaging in or furthering an act of animal cruelty.

The two were caught on video surveillance chasing a 14-year-old helmeted guineafowl into a group of trees at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. A witness then allegedly saw the two men emerging from the trees and carrying the bird’s body and severed head, according to a statement by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

If convicted, Teixeira faces up to four years in prison with the possibility of parole, and Cuellar could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Teixeira and Cuellar are currently free on bail and expected to return to Las Vegas for their Feb. 11 arraignment, according to Executive Assistant to the District Attorney Tess Driver.

Contact Andy Nguyen at [email protected].

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