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UC Berkeley Law Student Pleads Not Guilty In Vegas Bird Beheading

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24-year-old Eric Cuellar (left) and 24-year-old Justin Teixeira are accused of killing an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino on October 12, 2012. The pair said they are students at the UC Berkeley Law School. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police)

24-year-old Eric Cuellar (left) and 24-year-old Justin Teixeira are accused of killing an exotic bird at a Las Vegas casino on October 12, 2012. The pair said they are students at the UC Berkeley Law School. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police)

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LAS VEGAS (CBS / AP) — 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 said 25-year-old Justin Alexander Teixeira 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 showed 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 pleaded guilty in January to a misdemeanor charge.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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