After a drunken Vegas night where he caused the death of an exotic bird by wringing its neck and then beheading it, a University of California at Berkeley law school graduate apologized in a Nevada state court on Monday for the 2012 incident.
Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, was sentenced to up to four years' probation and 16 hours of animal shelter work per month for the death of the helmeted guineafowl named Turk.
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"It was the worst moment of my life," Teixeira said, according to The Associated Press
. "If there was anything I could do to undo it, I would."
Security video showed Teixeira and two other Berkeley students laughing and chasing the bird in a wildlife habitat garden area while heavily intoxicated. The video then shows Teixeira wringing the bird’s neck and then flipping the head into some nearby rocks, witnessed by horrified resort visitors as they ate their breakfast nearby.
Teixeira, of Placerville, California, recently completed a 190-day prison boot camp in exchange for time behind bars.
He pleaded guilty in May 2013 to one felony charge of killing another person's animal. That plea allowed Teixeira to avoid trial on that charge and two other felony counts that could have gotten him up to eight years in prison.
While in the boot camp, Teixeira learned he passed the California bar exam. The AP reports that Teixeira may be able to practice law if he’s able to get his sentence reduced to a misdemeanor after completion of his probation.
Helmeted guineafowl, shaped much like a chicken and native to Africa, are said to prefer open, dry grassland and savannah habitats with scattered trees or shrubby cover. They are often found in agricultural areas as well as suburban parks or gardens.
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