Vick to plead guilty in dogfighting case By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer
Tue Aug 21, 7:44 AM ET
RICHMOND, Va. - Less than a month after saying he looked forward to clearing his name, Michael Vick now acknowledges the heinous acts associated with his name are true.
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback said through a lawyer Monday that he will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, an admission that likely will mean prison time.
For now, any hopes of salvaging his NFL career are secondary to his impending confinement.
"His focus is on his family, his focus is on answering to this judge," Vick's lead defense attorney, Billy Martin, told The Associated Press after announcing the plea agreement Monday.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson can sentence Vick to up to five years in prison and fine him $250,000, although federal sentencing guidelines will call for less. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the terms are not final, told the AP that prosecutors will recommend a sentence of a year to 18 months.
The official said such a sentence would be more than what is usually recommended for first-time offenders, reflecting the government's attempt to show that animal abusers will receive more than a slap on the wrist.
Vick will return Monday to the same courthouse where he pleaded not guilty and resolved to prove his innocence just 25 days ago. This time he will plead guilty, and Hudson will schedule a date for sentencing.
Since that initial court appearance, all three of Vick's co-defendants have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in the government's case against him, including testifying against him if the case had gone to trial in November as scheduled.
The co-defendants said Vick bankrolled virtually the entire "Bad Newz Kennels" operation in rural southeastern Virginia, including providing gambling funds, an act that could trigger a lifetime ban from the NFL under the league's personal conduct policy
This is a cautionary tale. A tale that men...young Black men, need to learn how to exercise good judgement. They need to understand that, if you have a contract like Vick's, you have a target on you, plain and simple. You might believe being an athlete erases that you are a Black man in America, but THAT'S NOT TRUE.
OJ happens once in a lifetime, and you best believe, it's not going to happen again.
If you have a young Black male in your life, sit him down and discuss this case with him.
1. Poor Judgement...
2. Poor Choices....
3. Poor Decision Making...
4. Do you have Friends or Associates?
Michael Vick was a grown man who chose poorly. He didn't take his brand - Michael Vick, Incorporated - seriously. If he did, he wouldn't have put it at risk by routinely hanging out with known criminals and partaking in criminal behavior. I'm not a dog lover; I only had fish for a few weeks as pets, but that doesn't matter. I see how many folks in this country treat their pets, but more importantly, I know that Vick knows what he did was ILLEGAL.
Which brings me to my fundamental question:
Is it too much to ask, when you make more money than 99% of the world, no matter what race, ethnicity, nationality....
That you find your amusement through LEGAL MEANS?
Is it really that hard?
And, don't expect ANYONE to go jail for you, outside of Mama and Daddy, and not even them.
Dave Chappelle said it best...
Michael Vick is a living example, up front and personal of...
WHEN KEEPING IT REAL GOES WRONG.