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Vick to plead guilty on dog-fighting charges

Suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick will plead guilty next week, reports AFP:


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a dogfighting ring, according to a statement from his attorney.
In the statement, Vick agreed to plead guilty and accept a plea deal "after consulting with his family" and will "accept full responsibility for the mistakes he has made," Fox News reported Monday.

Vick is expected to be sentenced next Monday at US District Court here. He could face up to five years in prison and fines of more than 250,000 dollars as a result of the charges.


Read the rest at the link above. With all of his co-defendants copping pleas and testifying against him, Vick had little choice. The alternative was to risk 20+ years before a jury.

Reportedly, his attorneys sought guidance from the NFL on what he might plead to without jeopardizing a possible return to football, but the NFL refused to speculate. Personally, I think his pro career is over, at least in the NFL, for the foreseeable future.


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Comments (31)

I'm a realist, but I have t... (Below threshold)

I'm a realist, but I have to say it is hard not to be very angry at the cruelty of this man, and at the arrogance he displayed all through this case.

The NFL was hardly a paragon of virtue itself. I can't help but wonder what else goes on, that the NFl allows simply because no one has made noise about it.

Too bad the victims of Vick... (Below threshold)

Too bad the victims of Vick's crimes can't sue his a**. Wouldn't it be nice if the SPCA and other shelters got his money, rather than his being able to leave prison a multimillionnaire?

The NFL was hardly... (Below threshold)
The NFL was hardly a paragon of virtue itself. I can't help but wonder what else goes on, that the NFl allows simply because no one has made noise about it.
Amen, DJ. It seems like every sport except baseball and soccer have been taken over by thugs like Vick. Let the revelations begin!
Vick returning to the NFL i... (Below threshold)
cadrys:

Vick returning to the NFL is about as likely as me being signed to replace him.

Unless, of course, they suffer a mass attack of stupid and embrace the same "culture" as the NBA has been riding into the ground. He's PR poison in this country now, and many people will consider his crimes even greater than what OJ Simpson got away with.

He is very likely to return... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

He is very likely to return once he is released from prison. He'll likely get about a year and a hefty fine.

Then he'll be back.

Killing a person didn't stop Ray Lewis from coming back.

Paul:Now that the ... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned Author Profile Page:

Paul:

Now that the forms have been obeyed, Goodell can do as he wishes with Vick's career. Just like I said last month when we discussed this.

One of the most disappointi... (Below threshold)

One of the most disappointing aspects of this case, as pointed out in comments on the earlier thread, was that Tiki Barber, when asked about the possibility of Vick naming other active players who may have been involved, said he "would not be welcome in any locker room in the league" if he did.

Apparently, NFL players are okay with torturing animals, but won't tolerate snitches. Isn't that similar to "prison code?"

I wouldn't be too sure about Vick emerging from prison a "multimillionaire," either. Sports stars tend to spend lavishly, and Vick had no shortage of hangers-on and expenses. Plus, someone else will be "looking after" his money while he's in prison. I wouldn't be on much being left after his lawyers and associates have their crack at it.

Sometimes no matter how wel... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Sometimes no matter how well you scramble, it's time to take a sack.

Vick's only hope now is that everyone left (is there anyone left?) cops a plea too and the mountain of dirt the Feds have stays locked up as evidence. If it every gets into the public record, Vick will never play again. (not that he has more than a snowballs chance now)

Forget state court or federal court, the court Vick has the most to fear from is the court of public opinion.

Personally, I think his ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Personally, I think his pro career is over, at least in the NFL, for the foreseeable future.

Oh, there's NO doubt about that. He's 27. By the time he serves out his sentence (which I hope will be the max.), he'll be 30, slower and out of football shape. I'm not even sure the Arena Football League would take him.

I'm not sure anybody could stomach it, DJ.

Interesting ESPN headline:
"Fall from grace is one of the greatest"

"Grace" and "Vick" don't go in the same sentence. Unless it's a prison sentence.

Any word on whether or not the Falcons can void his contract? (My guess is they can, but I haven't heard the official word.)

Art Schleister and Michael Vick, all the talent in the world. No gray matter upstairs.

Ned as I said then and I sa... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Ned as I said then and I say now... The commish can do whatever he damn well pleases. look it up.

Per ESPN:The ga... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Per ESPN:

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

We had discussed this a while back as being a possibility. After the last year and a half between Bengal player troubles, Pacman Jones and now with Vick coping a guilty plea, I think the NFL and Goodell will slam the door shut in Vick's face and his career.

I reserved my judgment of V... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I reserved my judgment of Vick until a trial or he copped a plea. Now that he has, what kind of sick f*** of a person gets their rocks off by torturing a defenseless animal? My lab/ret mix was abused as a pup and this kind of thing just utterly sickens me. It's not humane; it's not even human.

Can you say Oakland Raiders... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

Can you say Oakland Raiders?

As usual, "the Professor", ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

As usual, "the Professor", ESPN's (and Seattle's) John Clayton, answers our questions best.

Qoute:"Interesting... (Below threshold)
lowmal:

Qoute:

"Interesting ESPN headline:
"Fall from grace is one of the greatest"

"Grace" and "Vick" don't go in the same sentence. Unless it's a prison sentence.
"

----------------------------------------

"Greatest" and "Vick" don't belong in the same sentence, either.. He wasn't that good..

I have no tolerence for scum who abuse animals..


Cut him up and throw him in a room with a pack of hungry pitbulls..

Fucking savage..


Can you say Oakland Raid... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Can you say Oakland Raiders?

As a lifetime and diehard Raiders fan who travels to games from the NW, he WOULD NOT be welcome in my house. We may be mean, we may be tough and obnoxious and even rude to visiting fans (especially Bronco fans), but we are NOT dog killers.

And no, I don't dress up. LOL.

I highly recommend the Clay... (Below threshold)

I highly recommend the Clayton piece Peter F. links in comment # 14 above.

Vick's best chance is that his plea deal doesn't involve any gambling charges at all (which pro sports regard as the kiss of death), and then to follow Clayton's advice of playing Arena football and doing tons of public interest ads and charity work for humane societies in the meantime.

As others have noted, though, the NFL will almost certainly suspend for at least another season (assuming he gets off with a three year sentence and serves only one - or whatever federal sentence which, under guidelines, would permit him to serve only one), in which time his skills will not stay game sharp.

The odds have to be against a comeback to the NFL, ever.

Neither the NFL as a league... (Below threshold)

Neither the NFL as a league nor any individual team wants to see television coverage of a group of PETA twerps protesting at a stadium with pictures of dead puppies. Same with arena football.

Vick will never play professional sports again. Maybe you'll see him on WWE in a few years.

According to the ESPN legal... (Below threshold)
Skip:

According to the ESPN legal analyst, on Monday he'll enter a plea, but he won't be sentenced them. It'll go to the probation office for investigation, and they'll make a sentencing recommendation. Basically they'll be looking at the offense, and mitigating and aggravating factors.

That will go to the judge, along with the prosecution's recommended sentence. But the judge isn't bound by either, and will sentence at that point.

Vick's best chance is th... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Vick's best chance is that his plea deal doesn't involve any gambling charges at all (which pro sports regard as the kiss of death)...

Jim, per ESPN:

"Judge Henry Hudson said Monday that no details of the plea agreement will be made public before Vick's hearing (a week from today)." Emphasis mine.

So we don't actually know whether or not his plea deal called for the gambling charges to be dropped. However, I imagine they are. Per Vick's lawyer(s):

"...he (Vick) has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him," lead defense attorney Billy Martin said in a statement."

I'd have to review the indictment, but I'm reasonably certain gambling is one of the charges.

Peter F. ~ Agreed, I'd be s... (Below threshold)

Peter F. ~ Agreed, I'd be shocked if some gambling charges were not part of the pending charges before negotiations.

Once it became apparent all the co-defendants were turning state's evidence, I expect the focus of Vick's defense became keeping gambling out of the plea bargain. He'll have a hard enough time coming back after the dog-fighting itself, but a gambling conviction probably would allow the Falcons to reclaim all of his bonus money immediately.

Well, if his NFL return doe... (Below threshold)

Well, if his NFL return doesn't work out, there's always pro wrestling...

Con-Vick(t)... (Below threshold)
yo:

Con-Vick(t)

Con-Vick(t)... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Con-Vick(t)

Perfect!

Jim,

Agreed on all accounts. We'll see what transpires come Monday. I'm sure the rumors and speculation will be flying high re:gambling until then.

(Even if the gambling charges are thrown out as part of the plea bargain, I can't imagine any NFL team in their right mind taking on such a public relations nightmare even after Vick serves time.)

Jim:Once it be... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

Once it became apparent all the co-defendants were turning state's evidence, I expect the focus of Vick's defense became keeping gambling out of the plea bargain.

People are forgetting something. His troubles aren't over these charges stem from the State of NJ.

Virginia is yet to weigh in and file charges.

Then there is the NFL's own security dept. Whether he plead out the gambling part on the indictment or not he'll face the same from VA... and he can't make the same go away with the NFL. The gambling charges will get him a lifetime ban by the NFL.

Usually when a case is take... (Below threshold)

Usually when a case is taken over by the feds, the states back off. It would be somewhat unusual for a state to file charges on the same offense AFTER a federal plea bargain - although not impossible, of course.

I may not have been clear on the gambling aspect. I think Vick's defense team will try to plead to dog-fighting charges and conspiracy, and get the gambling charges (if any have been filed) dismissed. That would make it tougher for the NFL to hit Vick with a lifetime ban.

If he pleads to any sort of gambling charge, he's history. He's probably history anyway, and will be a future trivia answer.

Langtry rath... (Below threshold)

Langtry

rather than his being able to leave prison a multimillionnaire?

I think it's very likely he may not have any money when this is all said and done. Usually in cases like this, litigants come out of the woodwork and totally consume the defendent's wealth.

To my knowlege, no State charges have been filed yet. That is another chapter to be told.

If he pleads to any sort... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

If he pleads to any sort of gambling charge, he's history. He's probably history anyway, and will be a future trivia answer.

I can see the Trivial Pursuit question now: "What assclown blew almost $200 million in contract and endorsement deals, just to wager $15,000 on whether one dog could kill another?"

Jim Addison:Us... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim Addison:

Usually when a case is taken over by the feds, the states back off. It would be somewhat unusual for a state to file charges on the same offense AFTER a federal plea bargain - although not impossible, of course.

Tell that to Timothy James McVeigh who went thru a second State trial for no other reason than to pile on a second death penalty.

The public, PETA, not withstanding, won't be happy with the plea and will pressure VA to file charges.

Apparently, the animal crue... (Below threshold)

Apparently, the animal cruelty charges will be levied by the State of Georgia. The Federal charges are what Vick is currently pleading Guilty on, and those are for the gambling and RICO violations. If Vick intends to plead on the dog fighting charges, that will be done later next month in a Virginia courtroom.

/ Someone on another blog said to feed Vick's balls to some rabid dogs. While they're still attached to Vick.

Apparently, the an... (Below threshold)
Apparently, the animal cruelty charges will be levied by the State of Georgia. Oops. Obviously, that should have read Virginia.



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