Posted Aug 27, 2007 03:37 pm CDT
Updated: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty today to a federal conspiracy charge in connection with a dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels.
Sentencing was set for Dec. 10, Reuters reports.
At a press conference after entering the plea, Vick apologized, saying he accepted responsibility for his actions and he displayed bad judgment. He said he has found Jesus during the turmoil and is turning his life over to God.
Vick appeared before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson at the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va. Several dozen animal rights demonstrators showed up, but the atmosphere outside the courthouse was more frenzied last month, when Vick initially pleaded not guilty, the Washington Post reports.
Hudson is a no-nonense judge who is a former prosecutor, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (reg. req.) reported last month. Vick agreed to plead guilty after prosecutors threatened to secure a superseding indictment that included at least one racketeering charge, the Journal-Constitution also reported earlier.
In a written plea agreement submitted on Friday, Vick admitted that he helped kill up to eight pit bulls and supplied money to gamble on fights, the Associated Press reports.
The agreement says Vick will cooperate with the government investigation, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors are recommending a jail term of between 12 and 18 months. Vick has been suspended indefinitely from the football league.
Originally posted 08-27-2007 at 09:11 AM.