Posted Aug 20, 2007 06:55 pm CDT
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick reportedly will accept a plea deal in a week that is “likely” to put him to prison. Sentencing, however, is not expected to take place for months.
According to one of his attorneys, Lawrence Woodward, the football superstar agreed to plead guilty to one charge of felony conspiracy in order to avoid additional charges concerning a professional dogfighting operation he allegedly operated, writes the Virginian-Pilot, a Norfolk, Va., newspaper. The operation, Bad Newz Kennels, reportedly involved pit bulls encouraged to fight one another, with bets placed on the outcome of the contests, and involved allegations of animal cruelty and dogs being executed when they did not fight fiercely enough.
Vick not only funded the Surry County, Va., business but actively participated in operating it, according to news accounts. He allegedly started it in early 2001. That same spring, Vick was the No. 1 National Football League draft pick after his final season at Virginia Tech.
Two co-defendants pleaded guilty Friday and agreed to testify against Vick, 27, and a third defendant reached a similar plea deal earlier. More details are in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.
“Mike’s accepting full responsibility,” Woodward said. “He’s going to do everything he can personally and professionally to make this situation right.”