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Former Redding Man Arrested in Exotic Bird Decapitation

Published On: Oct 16 2012 07:04:06 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 16 2012 09:46:00 PM CDT

A former Redding man is making national news after police accused him of decapitating an exotic bird at the Flamingo Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

Justin Teixeira, 24, graduated from Shasta High School in 2006 and is currently a law student at UC Berkeley.

According to people who knew Teixeira, he was the co-president of Shasta High School’s student union, an Advanced Placement scholar and was also on the school soccer team.

Las Vegas Police said Teixeira and his friend, 24-year-old Eric Cuellar decapitated a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl in the Flamingo’s wildlife habitat.

Witnesses told police the two were seen throwing the dead bird, laughing and talking about killing it, and later carrying the bird's severed head and body.

Police also say they have surveillance video of the two chasing the bird.

The incident has made headlines in the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post and even on ABC News.

Teixeira and Cuellar were taken to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, where they each face felony charges of Conspiracy and Willful Malicious Torture/Killing of Wildlife. 

Animal cruelty became a felony in the State of Nevada in October of 2011.