Roselle man admits to animal cruelty in death of pet peacock

  • David Beckmann

    David Beckmann

Updated 3/7/2014 11:49 AM

A Roselle man accused of sexually abusing a pet peacock that was later found dead in his garage has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

David Beckmann, also pleaded guilty on Thursday to battery, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and telephone harassment.


The 65-year-old military veteran was given two years of probation in connection with the animal cruelty and battery charges. While Beckmann was sentenced to 180 days in jail for the other offenses, he was given credit for time he served at a mental health facility.

After the hearing, defense attorney Brian Telander said Beckmann is dealing with the issues that resulted in his arrest last May.

"He's doing great now," Telander said. "He's getting the treatment he needs."

"Obviously, the state agrees," he said, "because they could have tried to seek more jail time, but they didn't."

Police arrested Beckmann at his Devon Avenue home on May 7, 2013, after he solicited a teen boy, authorities have said.

While investigating that case, police learned about the abuse and subsequent death of the peacock, named Phyl. Beckmann admitted his pet bird died in April after he molested it, prosecutors have said.

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Prosecutors said the telephone harassment charge stemmed from multiple nonemergency calls he made to Roselle police and other law-enforcement agencies. He continued calling dispatchers after being ordered to stop, officials said.

Telander has said Beckmann is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran who performed more than 100 combat missions while serving in the Air Force.

"He did a lot for our country," Telander said, "but he has a lot of mental issues as a result of that."

Telander said Beckmann wasn't taking his medication during the period when all the offenses occurred.

In June, a DuPage judge ruled that Beckmann was mentally unfit to stand trial. He then was treated at a secure facility operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Now Beckmann is going through a program offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to his attorney. "He admits that he was wrong," Telander said.

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