When a University of Berkeley law student visited a resort hotel in Las Vegas two years ago, he committed an unspeakable act of cruelty against an exotic bird living in the hotel’s garden habitat for wildlife. Justin Teixeira not only chased a helmeted guineafowl nicknamed Turk around the grounds, he grabbed the chicken-sized bird, then wrung its neck and tossed its head away.
He and two other fellow students from the University, where Teixeira was studying for a law degree, were caught on surveillance camera and subsequently questioned about the cruel attack and arrested. His buddies pleaded guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges and were fined and required to perform community service. Teixeira, who now resides in California, was charged with a felony of killing an animal belonging to another person. He pleaded guilty to the charge last spring in order to avoid a prison sentence that could have been as long as eight years in the Nevada penal system.
He was sentenced this week to four years probation and ordered to perform 16 hours of community service every month at an animal shelter for killing Turk. Teixeira, who contended that he was drunk at the time he committed the crime, expressed extreme remorse for his actions and sorrow there was nothing he could do to reverse what he did. At the time of his sentencing, Teixeira had successfully completed a court-ordered 190-day boot camp rather than spend time in jail. He also recently successfully passed the bar exam in order to practice law in California. Because he has plead guilty to a felony rather than a misdemeanor, it is unclear whether or not Teixeira will be qualified to practice law in California. Although his lawyer asked for leniency, the judge ordered maximum time for both community service and probation.
Vegas bird death