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Vick pleas guilty

Pablo M 201

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Vick faces prison time after agreeing to plead guilty

ESPN.com news services

Updated: August 20, 2007, 4:18 PM ET


RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick's lawyer said Monday the NFL star will plead guilty to charges relating to a federal dogfighting case, putting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback's career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a prison term.


The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines most likely would call for less.


Prosecutors, who were seeking a prison term of 12 to 18 months, have yet to formally agree to the plea, a source told ESPN's Kelly Naqi.


"After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him," lead defense attorney Billy Martin said in a statement.


"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter."


Vick is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.


Vick's plea hearing will be Aug. 27 at 10:30 a.m. ET, Martin said. Judge Henry Hudson said Monday that no details of the plea agreement will be made public before Vick's hearing.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation. League sources tell ESPN's Chris Mortensen that Goodell will likely suspend Vick indefinitely and that a final decision on Vick's suspension will be made after his legal case is resolved.


"We are aware of Michael Vick's decision to enter a guilty plea to the federal charges against him and accept responsibility for his conduct. We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons," the league said in a statement. "We will conclude our own review under the league's personal conduct policy as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner."


The Falcons will not release Vick immediately; team officials told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. If the league suspends Vick, the Falcons could then seek to recoup part of Vick's signing bonus of approximately $22 million, because if suspended, then Vick would be in default of his contract.


Martin's statement came as a grand jury that could add new charges met in private. Prosecutors had said that a superseding indictment was in the works, but Vick's plea agreement all but means he will not face additional charges.


Three of Vick's original co-defendants already have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him if the case went to trial. Quanis Phillips of Atlanta and Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach signed statements saying Vick, 27, participated in executing at least eight underperforming dogs by various means, including drowning and hanging.


Phillips, Peace and Tony Taylor, who pleaded guilty last month, also said Vick provided virtually all of the gambling and operating funds for his "Bad Newz Kennels" operation in Surry County, Va., not far from Vick's hometown of Newport News.


The gambling allegations alone could trigger a lifetime ban under the NFL's personal conduct policy.


In a statement issued Monday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the league to incorporate cruelty to animals into its personal conduct policy.


"This case has clearly shown that NFL fans are just as outraged by cruelty to animals as any of the other antisocial behaviors outlined in the policy," the statement read.


Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.




Well, bye bye NFL for Vick. Had an incredible career, but with this, it just put it down the drain.

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I don't condone what Michael Vick did but I think everyone especially the NFL is going too harsh on him. I don't think he should be banned but he should be punished (Never own a pet, fines, suspension etc). The NFL is really crucifying him for what happened which I don't quite support. I understand the NFL wants a good rep but they should really focus on another issue which is giving benefits to retired players (now thats a sad story).

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Oh well, looks like the Arena Football League will be a-callin' whenever he gets outta prison..... and he won't do well there either; or, not as dynamic as he is... erm, was, in the NFL... the AFL field is shorter & narrower; meaning, less room to roam (run)....


His NFL playing days are just about numbered....

Wonder how many people out in Atlanta done burned all the Vick memorabilia they ever collected/possessed.....

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On Atlanta news they showed Vick jersey's being used in kennels for the animals to piss and shit on.


:eek::) Wow thats a bit weird but I think Vick can still come back but he will have to sacrifice a lot and the chance of him coming back to the falcons are lessening a bit but I think he will remain in the NFL, I mean he has the potential to a be a super bowl or hall of fame quarterback.

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