Sacto 9-1-1
July 23, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to law students accused of beheading exotic bird in Las Vegas?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Several months ago, The Bee printed a story about three Berkeley law students who reportedly chased a pet parrot down an alley and beheaded it. Whatever happened as a result of the court case?
Submitted by: Helen Dadmehr, Sacramento

ANSWER: Justin Teixeira, a law student at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Placerville resident, was accused of killing and torturing an exotic bird at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas on Oct. 12, 2012.

Teixeira and two fellow students Hazhir Kargaran and Eric Cuellar allegedly chased a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl around the hotel's wildlife habitat. According to an Associated Press story, surveillance video showed the men chasing the bird into some trees, and witnesses told police the men emerged carrying the bird's body and severed head.

The bird's body was later found on a pathway and its head was found among nearby rocks.

Kargaran pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of instigating an act of animal cruelty, malicious destruction of property and trespassing. He was sentenced to two days in jail and 48 hours of community service.

Cuellar pleaded guilty to instigating an act of animal cruelty. He was fined $200 and sentenced to 48 hours of community service.

According to Clark County, Nev., online court records, Teixeira, 24, pleaded guilty last month to killing another person's animal, a felony. As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution agreed the record would reflect that Teixeira was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred.

Teixeira is to be sentenced Oct. 16.

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