Berkeley Law Grad Gets Prison Boot Camp for Bird Beheading

By Brett Snider, Esq. on October 17, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Berkeley law graduate was taken to "prison boot camp" on Wednesday as part of a guilty plea to felony charges for killing an exotic bird.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Justin Teixeira, 25, began his 190 days in "regimental discipline" with the Nevada Department of Corrections as punishment for beheading a bird at the Flamingo's Wildlife Habitat in October 2012.

Teixeira's eligibility to practice law is already on the bubble, and things may get much worse if the bird de-brainer fails his prison boot camp program.

Boot Camp For the Birds

Teixeira's plea deal, according to the Journal, consisted of successful completion of Nevada's prison boot camp and three years of probation, at which point his felony charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Since most Cal law students wouldn't survive long in gen. pop. in Nevada's prisons, Teixeira -- a first-time offender -- will be spending 190 days at the Three Lakes Valley Boot Camp. It may sound like an old summer camp ... and it kinda is.

The Boot Camp program features:

  • Around 80 offenders (referred to as "trainees")
  • Required "life skills" classes including anger management
  • Community service activities (e.g. Habitat for Humanity)

Basically, this Boot Camp is a pretty soft rehabilitative alternative to the one to four years in prison Teixeira would face if he were just any old Joe Schmo. Chalk it up to judges giving diversion programs to pathetic members of the legal profession, even those pretending to be lawyers.

Im-peck-able Moral Character

The moral character application might be a wee bit difficult for Teixeira, since most state bars tend to red flag criminal history of any type. It will definitely help if Teixeira's felony conviction is reduced to a misdemeanor, but the nature of his crime may still raise some eyebrows with the California State Bar.

Especially if the Bar receives letters from protesters like Gina Greisen, who were present outside the courthouse on Wednesday representing the Nevada Voters for Animals on behalf of "Turk," the 14-year-old bird that Teixeira beheaded, reports the Journal.

Teixeira is waiting with other California J.D.-holders for the results of the July 2013 bar exam -- which are slowly cropping up in other states.

California results typically arrive the week before Thanksgiving, giving Teixeira a week to explain his situation to his parents -- ironically over a large bird carcass.

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