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Attorney: Dearborn man charged in parakeet killing 'a bird lover'

A 22-year-old Dearborn man has been charged in connection with the killing of a parakeet at a local pet store.

Ali Chehade, 22, is accused of striking and stomping the bird to death on May 18. A video circulating on social media shows the incident happened after a dispute that stemmed from Chehade trying to return the bird to the store.

Chehade was arraigned on a felony charge of third-degree animal killing on Thursday before 24th District Court Judge Richard Page in Allen Park. He faces up to four years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine if convicted as charged.

The incident, according to police, occurred around 7 p.m. in the 19300 block of Ecorse Road. 

Ali Chehade

Chehade smashed the cardboard box containing the parakeet with his fist and foot before fleeing the scene, and officers found the parakeet dead in the box when they arrived, police said.

Chehade stood mute at his hearing Thursday. His attorney, Sheldon Miller, argued Chehade is a college student and "he isn't going anywhere" but Page ordered Chehade held until he can post bond. Page set bond at $50,000 cash/surety/10%.

"This is a very serious offense," said Page. 

The judge ordered Chehade to "have no contact with critters" during the arraignment, to make other living arrangements for his remaining pets and to get a psychiatric examination. It was not clear from the hearing how many other pets Chehade owns.

Miller said he has recommended anger management for his client and said Chehade is "a bird lover."

"He's a bird killer allegedly," Page retorted. "I don't want him around any birds while this is pending ... any pets.

"They need to go," Page told Chehade, who participated in the hearing via video. "You can't keep them. And I'm going to want proof that you've turned them over to someplace safe."

Page set a probable cause conference for 9 a.m. June 7 via Zoom. A preliminary examination is scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 14 in an in-person hearing.