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.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 25th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
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