Vick Agrees To Plead Guilty In Dog Fighting Case

Vick

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has accepted a plea deal to avoid additional federal charges related to a professional dog fighting operation, according to one of Vick’s attorneys.

Vick’s D.C.-based attorney, William R. Martin, made the announcement in a written statement released by his office this afternoon. Martin said that Vick accepted full responsibility for his actions and decided over the weekend to accept the plea deal. Martin also added that Vick apologizes to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.

Vick will enter a guilty plea to the felony conspiracy charge next Monday at 10:30 a.m., said Lawrence Woodward, one of Vick’s defense attorneys.

“Mike’s accepting full responsibility,” Woodward said. “He’s going to do everything he can personally and professionally to make this situation right.”

By pleading guilty, Vick will avoid more serious charges related to the dog fighting operation called “Bad Newz Kennels.” His other three co-defendants said Vick almost entirely funded the operation.

The details of the plea deal are not immediately clear. According to two sources, the deal is expected to include a recommendation from prosecutors that Vick serve at least a year in prison.

The federal judge, Henry E. Hudson, has the final decision in sentencing.

Also, it is unclear how the NFL will discipline Vick. The league is still working on its review of Vick’s case.

“We’re going to do what we always said we were going to do, which is rely on the facts,” Goodell [NFL Commissioner] said. “If there is some type of a plea agreement, then we will obviously take the time to understand what that plea is and we’ll see how it fits into our personal conduct (policy).”

Source: Washington Post, The Virginian-Pilot

82 Responses to “Vick Agrees To Plead Guilty In Dog Fighting Case”

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  1. Lynn says:

    What a disappointment. Channel 7 in Los Angeles gave it one minute of air time - and after they were 15 minutes into the news. Golly, gee, no sympathy for animals there.

    I was in the car and caught part of a radio show. Don’t know who the guest was - someone who writes about justice in America, I think. Anyway, his interpretation of the plea deal* is that it would translate into one year of prision, which would probably mean only 9 months incarceration. And, get this - he would be tried on transporting dogs for fighting over the state line. NOTHING ABOUT ANIMAL ABUSE. Just trafficking.

    Did I hear this right? It was KFI 640AM radio around 3PM in Los Angeles.

    * I think this might be his SUSPICION of what the deal is all about.

  2. Debra says:

    The NFL and its dogfighting connection. Mark Purdy a sportswriter for the San Jose Mercury News had an excellent editorial entitled “Falcons, NFL had to have suspicions” that began “Somebody else had to know” and ended with this:

    “This doesn’t mean the Falcons or Blank should be punished by the league. It does mean that the team - and the NFL - should not be allowed to claim they are innocent victims in this mess. It does mean that when we watch football on Sundays this season, we will have a lot of questions. I firmly believe most NFL players are good people. But after this, how can we trust that any of them are exactly what they claim to be?

    Also, how much is out there we still don’t know about? That’s the scariest thing of all. Because I am convinced that in Vick’s situation, somebody knew something. And nobody did anything.”

  3. Bridgett says:

    I don’t think the official details have been give to the public yet. We are all going by what we have read in the press.

  4. Bridgett says:

    I am sure other players knew. How could Vick have not talked and or bragged about it to other players? They knew.

  5. Lynn says:

    Add your comment to the CNN website. Far too many jerks who think he should be let off the hook. We need override those opinions.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law.....index.html

  6. Baaboo says:

    Vick is going to make “situation right”, can he bring back the dogs he hanged, beat to death and drowned. NOT !!!!! He should be in hell !!!!

  7. menusux says:

    http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/s.....onall.html

    US District Court–Eastern Virginia Court Schedules

    Judge Hudson - Weekly Schedule for 08/20/2007 to 08/27/2007

    08/27/07 10:30 am Case # 3:2007 cr274

    USA vs Vick Plea Agreement Hearing Michael Vick

  8. chris says:

    Say good-bye to your career Vick! It’s GONE!!!!! Your nothing more than a FAT A** headed for the slammer! Hope they send you to an animal loving prison.

  9. Lynn says:

    Another week to wait to find out if the Judge approves the plea bargain. I hope he does not.

  10. ellie says:

    I’m really quite surprised to see so many posts against the plea deal (especially when the specifics are still unknown). I think it’s terrific. Who knows what a jury might have done–just remember the O.J. jury! And even if Vick went to trial and was convicted, he would have become something of a martyr; some people would insist he was being railroaded because of his race, his celebrity status, media attention, whatever.

    This way, Vick is admitting what he did; he can’t ever claim that he’s innocent. He can never deny this. He can’t claim to be the victim of a “rush to judgment.” He can’t claim to be the hero.

    I don’t know if he has contracts with any companies that have not already dropped him, but certainly no company is going to touch him now.

    I do hope that the state of Virginia continues to pursue charges. And certainly the NFL should have the guts to ban him for life.

    I’m thrilled that he’s going to plead guilty.

  11. Maria says:

    I don’t know the terms of the “plea deal”, but I’m guessing he’s more likely to serve 9 months versus the maximum of five years that he could serve. And the NFL is still b.s.-ing about “needing to know the facts?” They’re just waffling, trying to delay a decision on whether or not to ban him from football for life. Sadly, if the NFL does take action against Vick, it will likely be for the gambling aspect, not animal cruelty.

    As for remorse on Vick’s part, I don’t buy it for a minute. He’s not sorry about what he did, just sorry that he got caught. He’s fearful of a trial and having to take the stand (and be subjected to cross examination), so he cops for the plea deal. He’s not the only NFL player connected to dog fighting, either. I hope all the rats involved in this criminal activity get investigated and prosecuted, and as for the NFL claiming they knew nothing about their players’ involvement in dog fighting, I hope someone exposes them as well for allowing this to continue.

  12. Roberto P. says:

    Mike Straka of Fox News said to allow Vick to play football, but electrocute him when the Falcons lose!

  13. Scarbo in Atlanta says:

    Statement From Atlanta Falcons on Vick Plea Deal (8/20/2007 4:35:56 PM)

    The Atlanta Falcons released a statement from their offices in Flowery Branch on the Vick plea deal late Monday afternoon: “We are certainly troubled with the news today concerning Michael Vick’s guilty plea to federal charges. It is our understanding that the terms of Michael’s plea will not be available until next Monday, August 27. Additionally, Commissioner Goodell has asked us not to take any action until he has completed his own review of Michael’s situation. Accordingly, we will have no further comment until that time.”
    ———————————————————————-
    RE:
    Vick will enter a guilty plea to the felony conspiracy charge next Monday (August 27) at 10:30 a.m. ET, said Lawrence Woodward, one of Vick’s defense attorneys, NBC News reported.

    U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who is presiding over the case, said he has the leeway to sentence Vick and his co-defendants as he deems fit and is not bound by the recommended sentences given to him by the prosecution, USA Today said.

    CNN also said that Vick’s attorneys are hoping to hear from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday about what options would be available to the Atlanta Falcons star quarterback if he does accept a plea deal.

  14. Lynn says:

    Ellie,

    95% of all federal cases are won. They just don’t prosecute them unless they have a very high degree of confidence in winning.

    Why I don’t like the plea deal? Because I don’t know what it really entails. For all I know it’s strictly about dog trafficking for dog fighting…..which translates to Vick NOT being tried for killing dogs. And if it’s not that, it means that he made a deal that saves his ass. And I am simply not for saving him at all.

  15. straybaby says:

    Lynn says:
    August 20th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

    he was never charged with killing dogs. BUT, it’s in the indictment and the other statement of facts. SO, if he pleads guilty to what’s in the indictment . . . also, the state will more than likely bring up the animal cruelty charges which are a felony in VA. he could get 5 yrs per dog/animal. and state dogfighting charges could bring a max 40 if i remember all this right. and the US Judge has alluded to aggravated offenses with the other guys. meaning, they could get more time due to the nature of the crimes. dog fighting was bad enough, but the way they killed the dogs may really seal their deals.

  16. steven says:

    He said he was sorry……

    Vick is only sorry that he will loose his career and all the diamonds that go along with it. Maybe Deon Sanders can support him just like he supported the fighting of dogs as “it’s just a sport”. Anyone involved in this should be sent to Iraq without protection.

  17. Lynn says:

    http://www.latimes.com/

    Scroll down a bit and click on the video “Police: Kittens as Dogfight Training Bait.”

  18. Nanette says:

    I hope they make an example out of him and give him the maximum possible punishement.

    I will post a link to this article on my site.

  19. EmilyS says:

    the final horrible cruelty will be the unnecessary and unjustified killing of Vick’s dogs. Vick may not ever deserve a second chance, but surely the victims do. Especially when there are experienced, reputable and knowledgeable people willing to test and examine the dogs to determine which might be suitable for rehoming.

    EmilyS

    This is from Diane Jessup, well known author and found of “LawDogs” a program that places pit bulls as detection dogs.

    OK, so chances are pretty good that Vick released the dogs as part of his plea deal. It is now imperative that those who can offer a realistic place for any of these dogs to go be made known to those who will decide their fate.

    We all know PETA and the HSUS (well, at least Wayne Pacelle) wants the dogs dead. The easy way out; after all, we all know pit bulls are “expendable” just like Vick thought, right? We must work fast as it is “usual procedure” to kill the dogs right away before there can be public outcry.

    I can’t speak for BadRap, or Animal Farm Foundation, but LawDogsUSA would like to be given the opportunity to screen the dogs for use as narcotics and explosives detection dogs. We do not want to be told “oh, they are no good” by someone with no idea what we are looking for. I have never received a reply from Wayne Pacelle concerning this issue despite trying to contact him for weeks.

    We can only save a couple, and then only if they are useful for our program. However, I can’t believe that anyone who loves dogs would deny the opportunity for even one of these victim dogs to have that chance.

    I ask you to please help in any way to get word to those holding the dogs and in charge of their fate to consider allowing us to screen them. I can be reached at or this email or LawDogsUSA@comcast.net.

    Thank you,
    Diane Jessup
    www.LawDogsUSA.org

    _________________
    Diane Jessup
    www.LawDogsUSA.org
    www.WorkingPitBull.com

    http://www.thepitbull-place.co.....p;start=30

  20. Barb says:

    FROM BRENDA SHOSS, KINSHIP CIRCLE: I just had the unique opportunity to speak to Gerald Poindexter, the attorney prosecuting Michael Vick at the state level. I was surprised by his honesty and probably know too much about the inner workings of Vick’s case for my own good!

    Mr. Poindexter’s office wants to PROSECUTE Michael Vick on felony charges for dogfighting, animal cruelty, and killing dogs (a felony in VA). Please ONLY SEND SUPPORTIVE comments in regard to the state’s case against Vick. He has been inundated with hate mail from those who DON’T want Vick prosecuted and those accusing him of playing the race card, etc.

    Mr. Poindexter has asked me to let you, the animal advocacy public, know:
    * The fact Vick pled guilty today and struck a deal in FEDERAL COURT does NOT EFFECT THE STATE’S CASE in Surry, Virginia.

    * The state is making every effort to conduct a thorough investigation. While the state has probable cause to believe crimes were committed and Vick, along with his 3 co-defendants, can be convicted — the state has been unable to complete its investigation.

    WHY?

    Federal prosecutors have placed the main witnesses in a federal protection program. So the state has no access to eyewitness testimony. Surry County (Virginia) evidence — including custody of the 54 confiscated dogs, exercise equipment, etc. — has been handed over to federal investigators.

    “They [federal authorities] hold the upper hand in the sense I don’t know how to communicate with witnesses essential to my case,” Mr. Poindexter told me. “I am effectively at an impasse in terms of physical evidence to build a case on. But, this won’t last. I believe federal authorities will eventually cooperate and we will be able to proceed.”

    Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter SURRY COUNTY
    Post Office Box 358 * Surry, Virginia 23883
    PH: 757-294-3118; FAX: 757-294-3560
    NO EMAIL ADDRESS

  21. Lynn says:

    Something worth reading by Justine Nelson in Florida, if only to reinforce what you may already know:

    http://visitors.polkvoice.com/.....tem=656124

    Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

    Michael Vick just set us back a hundred years.

  22. Lynn says:

    Not a valid survey but it gives you an idea of what the general public is feeling:

    How much time should Michael Vick spend behind bars? Of 19314 responses:

    3.9% 1-6 months
    6.1% 6-12 months
    12.0% 1 year
    22.0% 2 years
    31.0% 3-5 years
    20.0% More than 5 years

    4.3% No time at all

  23. G in INdiana says:

    Now when is the IRS going to come in a and try and get the back taxes for Vick’s gambling earnings? RICO is the way they get a lot of drug dealers, gangsters, and johns. You cannot avoid the tax issue and the IRS rarely ever loses a case…

  24. Sharon says:

    I also think he should be charged under RICO. Aside from the horror of the way he killed animals he is guilty of racketeering. Please see attached link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....ations_Act

    I would like to see him have all of his assets seized and be sentenced to twenty in prison. I would also like to know what prompted the Feds to cut him a deal. It stinks to high heaven.

  25. catmom5 says:

    Just made the phone call to Poindexter’s office and left a message with his secretary. At the very least he knows that he’s doing the right thing!

  26. catmom5 says:

    Since “guilty” means I DID IT! how can people now yell racism or whatever other excuses they have for what this man did? Not only did he commit the crimes he was charged with, he blatantly lied about it. It’s beyond me to understand how others cannot be appalled at this behavior, even if you’re not an animal lover. Killing and torturing animals is so wrong. I just don’t get it.
    MV will someday have to answer to a higher power for the atrocities he has committed.

  27. Barb says:

    Re: EmilyS says at August 21st, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Hey Emily, just wanted to let you know I sent your post above (the one quoting Diane Jessop of LawDogsUSA,) to my friend Brenda of Kinship Circle last night http://www.kinshipcircle.org/ Brenda posted it in her latest alert which I just received, linking it to your itchmo comment. Kinship Circle has a membership base of 3000+ so lots and lots of people will see it, read it and hopefully support LawDogsUSA in their efforts to save some of Vick’s dogs.

    I can’t link you to the alert but if you want me to send it to you email me at tochashona@yahoo.com

  28. Dogs In Vick Investigation Face Deadline; Knicks Player Defends Vick | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] than 50 pit bulls seized from Michael Vick’s property face a deadline today to be claimed. If no one comes forward, the dogs could be put […]

  29. Vick’s Father Talks About Vick And Dog Fighting; Vick To Plead Guilty To Interstate Commerce | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] said in 2001, Vick staged dog fights in the garage of the family’s home and backyard. The dogs were “bit up, chewed up, and […]

  30. Vick Admits To Financing Dog Fighting Operation And Dog Killing | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] comes to you when called.Sign up for our daily email digest or subscribe in a RSS reader.Michael Vick has admitted that he and his three co-defendants killed dogs that did not fight well in documents […]

  31. Vick To Be Sentenced December 10 After Pleading Guilty To Dog Fighting Charge | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting charge and will wait for a December 10 sentencing date that could send him to prison. […]

  32. Sed says:

    So what if he said sorry. This man had a career in footbal and goes out and hurts animals and used them for personal gain. What an idiot. And people wonder why Pits have a bad name. I think anyone using this breed should be shot in a Line up or chained to a post or put in a breeding halter and given the same respect they have given these dogs. I hope that Vic isnt given time off for good behavior just so he can do it again. I really hope its more than a slap on the wrist as we find with so many People in the Limelight.

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