Vick Co-Defendants Plead Guilty In Dog Fighting Case, Still Waiting On Vick’s Decision

Vick

Two of Michael Vick’s co-defendants in a professional dog fighting case pleaded guilty this morning in U.S. District Court.

Quanis Phillips and Purnell Peace pleaded guilty to charges related to dog fighting today. They both said all three men (Vick, Phillips, and Peace) “executed approximately eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions” in April 2007 by methods such as hanging and drowning.

Both co-defendants said the money that financed the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting operation came “almost exclusively” from Vick.

Court documents, signed by Peace as part of his plea, also say there is a picture of Vick and the three co-defendants with a pit bull named Jane that they were about to sponsor in a dogfight in North Carolina four years ago. It is uncertain whether federal prosecutors have a copy of that photo.

In another document signed by Peace, prosecutors allege that Vick paid Peace $3,000 a month to take care of their pit bulls on Vick’s property in Surry County. Peace became the primary caretaker of the dogs after Tony Taylor, another co-defendant, left the operation.

In Peace’s summary of facts, he wrote: “All three participated in executing the dogs. Peace agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick.”

Both co-defendants pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to cross state lines to engage in illegal gambling; to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture; and to buy, transport and receive dogs for animal fighting.

Peace and Phillips will be sentenced on November 30.

Meanwhile, there is still no word of Vick and if he has accepted the plea deal. His deadline was today at 9 am. But it is still uncertain what his decision is.

If he accepts the deal, Vick will serve at least one year in prison on dog fighting conspiracy charges.

If Vick does not accept this plea deal, federal prosecutors have warned Vick that he will face an additional charge under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. If he is convicted of this charge, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Sources say that Vick’s attorneys have advised him to take the plea deal.

One of Vick’s attorneys sat through the hearings for Phillips and Peace and took notes.

Even though Vick’s name wasn’t on the judge’s schedule for today, sources say that Vick could still make a plea in an arrangement between his lawyers, the government and the court.

Source: CNN, AJC

(Thanks to many reader tips)

16 Responses to “Vick Co-Defendants Plead Guilty In Dog Fighting Case, Still Waiting On Vick’s Decision”

  1. nora says:

    Those sickening bastards. It is a shame that they can’t also be charged with animal torture and cruelty. They saw each other do it and they have admitted to it. Why no furthur charges? I hope they have a world of hell like the world they created for those poor dogs and any bait animal that fell into their hideously cruel game.

  2. Pit Bull Lover says:

    What I’d always hoped would happen — dogfighting and cruelty charges from the local authorities — could become reality. BTW, it was *always* the local authorities’ (Gerald Poindexter is Surry County’s District Attorney) responsibility to file cruelty-type charges. The federal case couldn’t/wouldn’t appropriately address such crimes (though I suspect Judge Henry Hudson is going to consider them when he metes out the sentences for these guys).

    From Wavy.com:
    http://www.wvec.com/news/local.....8eb3b2.htm

  3. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Yeaaaah!!!

    From AJC.com:
    http://www.ajc.com/sports/cont....._0817.html

    “Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday afternoon that “yes, indeed, we will prosecute” Vick and others on possible animal cruelty and dogfighting charges. Poindexter said he would probably submit his case to a grand jury that is scheduled to convene Sept. 25.

    “He has not determined which charges he would file but said he would aggressively prosecute based on previously acquired evidence and some of the evidence presented in the federal case. Dogfighting and animal cruelty are felonies in Virginia with animal cruelty charges holding penalties of up to five years in jail for each animal killed.”

  4. Lynn says:

    An eye for an eye……

    I guess we should assume that Vick did not accept the plea bargain deal. Is that how it works? If you don’t accept by the deadline, it’s off the table?

    [See my detailed opinion on this matter under “Mr. Goodell, Please Don’t Ban Michael Vick From Football For Dog Fighting.”]

  5. Pit Bull Lover says:

    BTW, the software *now* requiring certain comments to be approved by the moderator, in addition to the 4-character key one must type in before posting, is definitely going to drag the discussions to a crawl. One of my comments has been caught in “moderation” mode for 20-25 minutes! (It’s not like I haven’t been posting as myself, Pit Bull Lover, for months now.

    ITCHMO ADMIN: Hey PBL,
    We’re working on a much better solution for everyone, but it will take some time. The comment spam filters are necessary to keep out the evil spam bots and I’m sorry about the hassle. We do always get to your moderated comments and free them. (Faster during the weekday than weekends.) I’m guessing that a spammer is using or has used your same IP for the software to hold your comments.

  6. Pit Bull Lover says:

    BTW, the more I’m reading about the 2 plea agreements signed today, comments made by the judge about aggravating circumstances probably leading him to exceed federal sentencing guidelines in this case, I’m convinced reports of Vick’s “proposed” plea deal including only 1 year in jail are absolutely false and are being planted by his defense team and PR teams.

    Especially as the last to accept a plea agreement — if he *does* accept one — he’s not going to see the sentencing concessions his co-defendants will, IMO.

    Two words: deep doodoo.

  7. Roberto P. says:

    BBC is also following this story.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6952027.stm
    My wife was reading it in French on a French news site, too.
    I’m glad to see this monster getting coverage outside the US. He deserves world wide scorn (plus huge fines, lots of jail time, etc.)

    PBL, if you’re still here could you PM my wife? She’s Mrs. P on the forums. She’s been working with a rescue Pit at the shelter and is thinking of bringing him home. You seem very knowledgeable about the breed….

  8. straybaby says:

    PBL, i think the attorneys were trying to get the prosecutors to go for a year or less. i don’t think the prosecutors could offer a sentence, only the judge can. i read earlier that it would be extraordinary if they did.

    that’s great that animal cruelty is a felony in Georgia! and he could be sentenced per animal! thanks for that update!

    methinks Vick is having a VERY bad day, lol!~ ;)

  9. Jenny Bark says:

    CNN just said Vic’s lawyer said on a radio station that their is no time limit on Vic taking a plea & that their was no split between Vic’s lawyers. Said Vic has not taken a plea yet. CNN will say more when they hear more. PIT BULL LOVER I still think your right.

  10. straybaby says:

    Jenny,

    correct, there is no time limit, but come monday the grand jury is back to review more evidence and new charges could be applied also. if Vick wanted a plea, he should have done so before his co-defendants submitted theirs and rolled on his involvement. i think Vick is holding out for the NFL verdict because if he pleas beforehand, he sets himself up for the lifetime ban. he’s between a rock and a very hard spot right now. if new charges are filed, he’s looking at possibly 20yrs, so he’s going to need to have something to offer in a plea i would think. as it stands, he’s alone out there now.

    and of course his lawyers are gonna say everything is peachy ;)

  11. Jenny Bark says:

    Thanks straybaby, I just want to see him go down.

  12. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Straybaby, the proposed local charges I mentioned are Virginia Commonwealth ones, where the Moonlight Drive “death house” Vick owns is located. I don’t know if there is anything to prosecute, in this case, in Georgia.

    A bad day for Ookie is a good day for me (and the “pit bulls”)!

  13. Roberto P. says:

    Breaking news on CNN–Feds offering a deal!

  14. straybaby says:

    ah thanks PBL, got my states/locations mixed up!! just happy as long as we are dealing with felonies on any new charges.

  15. Virginia To Pursue Dog Fighting And Animal Cruelty Charges Against Vick And Co-Defendants | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] of Phillips and Peace’s guilty pleas today, Poindexter said the state now has admissions and evidence of what was done on Vick’s […]

  16. Virginia To Pursue Dog Fighting And Animal Cruelty Charges Against Vick And Co-Defendants | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] of Phillips and Peace’s guilty pleas today, Poindexter said the state now has admissions and evidence of what was done on Vick’s […]


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