Michael Vickâ€™s remaining two co-defendants, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, have scheduled hearings to accept plea agreements on federal dog fighting conspiracy charges.
Purnell Peace has a plea agreement hearing set for Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virgina before District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Quanis L. Phillips has his plea agreement hearing on Friday morning.
One of Vick’s original co-defendants, Tony Taylor, already pleaded guilty to his role in a dog fighting conspiracy on July 30. Taylor said Vick financed most of the money for the dog fighting operation. As part of his plea agreement, Taylor agreed to fully cooperate with the government in prosecuting Vick, Peace and Phillips.
Last month, all four defendants pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
Now with Peace and Phillips entering plea agreements, Vick will face federal prosecutors by himself.
Collins R. Spencer III, a spokesman for Vickâ€™s defense team, said the lawyers were surprised by the plea deals for Peace and Phillips.
He said that the defense team did not see this move coming.
Vick’s defense lawyers also stated that these plea agreements would not affect the case. They will be proceeding with the case as planned and the trial set for November 26. The team is also assuming that Peace and Phillips will agree to cooperate with the government.
An University of Richmond law professor, Carl Tobias, said that the new pleas by Vick’s co-defendants are not good for Vick’s case. The government will have the cooperation of the co-defendants during his trial. Tobias added that the more they cooperate, the less punishment that they will receive. He said Peace and Phillips may not go to jail due to their plea agreements.
Source: MSNBC, Daily Press
(Thanks Pit Bull Lover)