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Vick Kills Dogs but Denies Gambling In Last Ditch Effort To Save Future With NFL
August 24, 2007 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
(CNN: for full story) -- BREAKING NEWS: NFL star Michael Vick has admitted that he and his co-conspirators killed dogs that did not fight well in papers filed on Friday with a federal court in Virginia.
Vick said he would plead guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture," in a plea agreement filed at the federal district court in Richmond, Virginia.
The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, "full restitution, a special assessment, and 3 years of supervised release," the plea deal says. Federal prosecutors agreed to ask for the low end of the sentencing guidelines. "The defendant will plead guilty because the defendant is in fact guilty of the charged offense," the plea agreement says.
In an additional statement of facts, signed by Vick and filed with the agreement, Vick admitted buying the property that was used for dogfighting but did not bet on the fights or receive any of the money won.
"Most of the 'Bad Newz Kennels'' operations and gambling monies were provided by Vick," the official summary of facts stated. Gambling wins were generally split between co-conspirators Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and sometimes Purnell Peace, it continued.
"Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses that were won by 'Bad Newz Kennels.'"
Vick also agreed that "collective efforts" by him and two others caused the deaths of at least six dogs.
In about April of this year, Vick, Peace and Phillips tested some dogs in fighting sessions at Vick's property in Virginia, the statement said. "Peace, Phillips and Vick agreed to the killing of approximately 6-8 dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road and all of those dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning.
"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick," the summary said.
Vick, 27, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday, where he is expected to plead guilty before a judge. The judge in the case will have the final say over the plea agreement.
The federal case against Vick focused on the interstate conspiracy, but Vick's admission that he was involved in the killing of dogs could lead to local charges, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.