Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Animal Abuser and Convicted Felon Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to State Charges of Dogfighting

Remember, Vick was recently convicted of federal charges related to dog fighting. So, these are additional charges.

For those who have forgotten, please visit our story about his dog fighting conviction and description of horrible abuse of dogs he carried out at http://geari.blogspot.com/2007/08/michael-vick-former-quarterback-of.html


Vick Pleads Guilty to State Charge


Michael Vick pleaded guilty today to a state dogfighting-related charge and was sentenced to a suspended jail term.

The resolution of the state charges against Vick, the quarterback who is serving a 23-month federal prison sentence and is on indefinite suspension by the NFL, potentially could speed his prospective return to football. With no further charges pending against him, Vick becomes eligible to serve the final portion of his federal prison sentence in a halfway house.

"I want to apologize to the court, my family and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model," Vick told the judge during today's hearing, according to the Associated Press.

Vick appeared in Surry County Circuit Court in Sussex, Va., reportedly arriving more than two hours early and wearing a gray suit.

He pleaded guilty to one count under a plea deal and not guilty to another count, and had that charge dropped. He was sentenced to a three-year suspended jail term and probation.

The jail term remains suspended as long as Vick completes four years of good behavior.

Surry County Circuit Judge Samuel Campbell approved the plea deal. He had not been bound by it in sentencing Vick.

Vick is serving his federal prison sentence in Leavenworth, Kan., for his role in a dogfighting operation based at a home that he owned in Virginia. He's scheduled to be released on July 20, 2009.

Each of the state felony counts against Vick was punishable by up to five years in jail. Vick pleaded guilty to one count of promoting dogfighting and not guilty to a count that involved animal cruelty, under the plea deal.

Vick was taken to Virginia last Thursday after Campbell rejected a request by Vicks' attorneys for him to plead guilty by videoconference.

The NFL will have to rule on Vick's suspension and his eligibility to play. Such a ruling is unlikely before he's released from prison. He remains under contract to the Atlanta Falcons but the franchise's owner, Arthur Blank, has said the team will not have him back. Vick's attorneys have indicated in bankruptcy court proceedings that he expects to play in the NFL again.

Vick reportedly arrived around 6:40 a.m. for his court appearance today. He had shackles on his wrists and ankles, according to the AP, but they were removed for the hearing. Family members and friends attended the hearing. About 20 uniformed police officers were stationed outside the building and Vick was driven to a covered garage in the back, the AP reported. Nine animal rights protesters stood quietly outside, according to the AP report.

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