Animal Law, Boalt Hall, Crime, Deaths, Law Schools, Violence

So Much for Flying South: The Alleged Berkeley Bird Beheaders Have Been Criminally Charged

Back in October, we brought you news of some wild and crazy accusations that were lodged against two Boalt Hall law students. Specifically, Eric Cuellar and Justin Teixeira allegedly committed some “fowl play” — the killing of an exotic bird, a helmeted guinea fowl — at the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

These guys aren’t going to have a very happy new year, because after more than two months of silence from Clark County District Attorney’s Office following their October arrest, the pair were formally charged yesterday.

What were they charged with, and how much jail time will they face if they’re convicted?

Contrary to popular belief, the pair were not formally charged in October. In fact, some — including the author of Nevada’s felony animal cruelty law — were quite incensed over the fact that the DA’s Office took so long to charge these Boalties with a crime. But as we’ve noted previously, the wheels of justice turn slowly.

Before discussing the charges, let’s review what happened in this case. Here’s info from the Las Vegas Sun:

A witness told security she saw two men, later identified as Cuellar and Teixeira, walk out of bushes in the habitat with the dead bird, a 14-year-old helmeted guinea fowl named Turk, on the morning of Oct. 12, according to a Metro Police arrest report. Teixeira, who was holding the bird, allegedly threw it toward Cuellar and said, “I (expletive) killed wildlife,” the report states.

Teixeira, who’s been described as a “typical fratty law student,” has been charged two felony counts (killing another person’s animal and torturing, overdriving, injuring, or abandoning animals), one gross misdemeanor count (conspiracy to torture, harass, or abandon animals), and one misdemeanor count (instigating, engaging in, or furthering an act of cruelty to an animal). As it turns out, if Teixeira did, in fact, “f**king kill[] wildlife,” and if he’s convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to some hard prison time, among other punishments.

As for Cuellar, a law student who’s been described as “kind and gentle,” he’s been charged with one misdemeanor count (instigating, engaging in, or furthering an act of cruelty to an animal). If convicted, Cuellar’s looking at two days to six months in jail, many community service hours, and a potentially hefty fine.

These ugly allegations just go to show that absolutely nothing that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. It’s a shame that these law students allegedly ruffled the wrong feathers in an outing that could ruin their careers.

We’ll continue to follow this story as it winds its way through the courts (of law and of public opinion). If you’d like to squawk at us with more information about Teixeira and Cuellar, just email us or text us (646-820-8477).

Flip to the next page if you’re interested in seeing the Clark County DA’s press release on the charges….

(hidden for your protection)

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