Third Cal Student Charged With Killing Exotic Bird

Felony charges in casino bird's beheading

By Staff and wires
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Rare Bird Fossil Found

FILE ART - Helmeted Guineafowl, the same type of exotic fowl that was killed in Las Vegas.

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A third suspect, also a University of California at Berkeley student, has been charged in the killing of an exotic bird at a hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Clark County prosecutors say 26-year-old Hazhir Kargaran, a Cal law student, pleaded no contest on Wednesday to three misdemeanors for his role in the beheading of the bird - a Helmeted Guineafowl - in October at the Flamingo Hotel's wildlife habitat display.

The latest charge follows on the heels of two other UC Berkeley law school students being arrested earlier.

Prosecutors say Justin Teixeira, 24, and Eric Cuellar, 24, stole a 14-year old helmeted guineafowl from a cage at the Flamingo resort and casino on Oct. 12. The pair were seen on surveillance video chasing the bird into some trees, and then emerging a short time later with the bird's body and its severed head, the Associated Press reported.

Teixeira's charges include felony killing and felony torturing of an animal, while Cuellar's charge is a misdemeanor. Teixeira could face prison time if convicted, while Cuellar's maximum sentence is six months in jail.

Teixeira is awaiting trial on animal killing and torture charges. He's accused  of grabbing a helmeted guinea fowl named Turk and decapitating it.
 
 Cuellar has already pleaded guilty to instigating an act of cruelty against an animal.

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