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Old 08-20-2007, 03:14 PM   #1
gts
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Default Vick agrees to plead guilty in dogfighting case

Quote:
RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick's lawyer said Monday the NFL star will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, 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's plea hearing will be Aug. 27, Martin said.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation.

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.

Martin's announcement 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 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.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2983121
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