Northern California man to be tried in Las Vegas bird beheading

LAS VEGAS — A University of California, Berkeley, law student accused of beheading an exotic bird at a Las Vegas Strip resort is headed to trial on felony charges that could get him up to eight years in prison and jeopardize his legal career, authorities said Wednesday.

Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, of Placerville, Calif., appeared in Las Vegas Justice Court and waived an evidence hearing on animal killing and animal torture charges in the Oct. 12 death of a helmeted guineafowl named Turk at the Flamingo Las Vegas.

He is expected to plead not guilty at arraignment May 13 in Clark County District Court.

Teixeira's lawyer, Michael Pariente, said Teixeira is in his third year at the University of California Berkeley and has excellent grades. He declined to comment about the case.

Appearing in court early avoided media, and waiving the preliminary hearing avoided airing of security videotape images allegedly showing Teixeira and two other Berkeley students chasing the gray bird to a walkway where the bird's body was found. The head was found amid nearby rocks. Court documents do not indicate exactly how the bird was beheaded.

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