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Vick pleads guilty to state dogfighting charge

Michael Vick pleaded guilty today to a state dogfighting charge, and apologized to “the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model.”

The former NFL quarterback pleaded guilty to one charge and not guilty to a second count that was then dropped. While conviction of the charge carries a maximum five-year sentence, Vick was given a three-year suspended sentence, according to the Associated Press.

By pleading guilty to the one charge, Vick became eligible for early release from prison and a possible return to the NFL. Federal law prohibits prisoners from being released to a halfway house if there are unresolved charges pending against them.

Vick, 28, already is serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kan. for a federal dogfighting conviction. He’s scheduled for release on July 20, 2009, and will serve three years of probation.

Vick was convicted of the federal charges in August 2007 when he admitted bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned in eastern Virginia’s rural Surry County. He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.

Since his conviction, he has lost nearly all of his record-breaking $130 million from a 10-year deal he signed with the Atlanta Falcons in December 2004.

Surry County Circuit Judge Samuel Campbell did not allow Vick to make his plea by videoconference, saying intense public interest made his appearance necessary.

Under the plea deal, Vick agreed to plead guilty to one count of promoting dogfighting and not guilty to a count that involved cruelty to animals.


Comment from MG
Time November 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm

What a joke.
I hope he gets his real sentence before he`s released from Prison.

Comment from baltimoregal
Time November 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm

If he gets out early he’d better be working to pay some heavy fines. Personally I think he is a menace to society.

Comment from Anne-n-Spencer
Time November 25, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Can you imagine, this man and his underlings drove around and stole peoples’ pets so they could torture them to death. I can’t think of an appropriate penalty that would be legal in the United States. Let him spend the rest of his life cleaning up after dogs in a shelter–except that no self-respecting shelter would ever hire somebody who’s done the things he has.