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Law student accused in bird beheading waives preliminary hearing

Posted Apr 25, 2013 7:10 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A California law student charged in an alleged bird beheading waived a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Justin Teixeira, a 3L at the University of California at Berkeley, is facing felony animal killing and torture charges for his alleged role in the beheading of an exotic bird at the Flamingo Las Vegas last October, reports the Associated Press. He is expected to plead not guilty at a May 13 arraignment.

By waiving the hearing, Teixeira avoided airing of security videotape allegedly showing him and two other students chasing the bird. Prosecutor Frank Coumou said his office also has cellphone video evidence from Eric Cuellar, who pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge in the incident. Cuellar’s lawyer said at the time that his client was accused of instigating, rather than perpetrating, the act of cruelty.

Coumou said Wednesday that a third Berkeley student may still be charged in the case.

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