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August 29, 2014

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Cal law student pleads not guilty in bird death at Flamingo

Justin Teixeira

Justin Teixeira

Eric Cuellar

Eric Cuellar

A University of California, Berkeley, law student accused in the beheading of an exotic bird at a Las Vegas Strip resort has pleaded not guilty to animal killing and torture charges.

Court officials say 25-year-old Justin Alexander Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) appeared Monday on two felony and one gross misdemeanor charge in the Oct. 12 death of a helmeted guineafowl at the Flamingo resort.

A jury trial is set for Oct. 14.

Security video footage allegedly shows Teixeira and two others chasing the gray bird to a walkway where the bird's body was found. The head was found amid nearby rocks.

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

Another Berkeley student, Eric Cuellar, pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge.

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