Friday, August 24, 2007

Vick files plea papers

Michael Vick filed his plea agreement in federal court Friday admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and helping kill pit bulls. He signed the plea agreement Thursday. In the agreement, Vick agreed to plead guilty to the first count of the original two-count indictment against him -- that he was part of a conspiracy to operate a dogfighting ring across state lines. The charge carries a potential sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years' probation.

A summary of the plea includes:

- Most of the Bad Newz Kennels operation and gambling monies were provided by Vick

- When the kennel's dogs won, the gambling proceeds were generally shared by Vick's three co-defendants -- Tony Taylor, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips.

- Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds of the purses that were won by Bad Newz Kennels

- Vick also was involved with the others in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.

- Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick and two of the co-defendants, Phillips and Peace.

Both sides agreed that due to the distrubing facts of the case that prosecutors would go above the federal sentencing guidelines for the charge, but would recommend a sentence at the low end of the scale following that adjustment -- a range of a year to 18 months. However, the judge is not bound by any recommendation or by the sentencing guidelines.

In the plea agreement, Vick agreed to enter the plea "because the defendant is in fact guilty of the charged offense" and cooperate with the government's investigation. He also knowingly agreed to waive his right to an appeal in exchange for concessions made by prosecutors.

Basically, the details were anti-climactic as anything mentiond in the plea we already knew one way or another. This is like being a poor kid on Christmas and praying for Santa to leave you an X-Box, only to find your gift contains the usual cockroaches and second-hand underwear. Look at the bright side, at least it saves you from having to go through that complicated Microsoft recall.

We now only await Michael Vick's sentancing and Roger Goodell's punishment. Stay tuned.

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