Vick suffers additional blows

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RICHMOND, Va. - What started out as another day stuck in a standstill regarding the status of Michael Vick was ultimately set in motion.

Co-defendants of Falcons QB Michael Vick will enter plea agreements later this week.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Co-defendants of Falcons QB Michael Vick will enter plea agreements later this week.

Vick's remaining two co-defendants in a federal dogfighting case scheduled hearings to enter plea agreements on Monday.

Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips will appear in federal court in Richmond on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Earlier, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had yet to complete its investigation of the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and commissioner Roger Goodell hadn't made a decision on whether to use the NFL's personal conduct policy to suspend Vick for the 2007 season.

Another of Vick's original co-defendants, Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty July 30 to his role in a dogfighting conspiracy he says was financed almost entirely by Vick.

As part of a plea agreement, Tony Taylor pledged to fully cooperate with the government in its prosecution of Vick, Peace and Phillips, who are accused of running an interstate dogfighting enterprise known as "Bad Newz Kennels" on Vick's property in rural Surry County.

Peace's lawyer, Claire Cardwell, and Phillips' attorneys, Franklin Swartz and Jeffrey A. Swartz, did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

Collins R. Spencer III, a spokesman for Vick's defense team, said the lawyers were surprised by the plea deals.

"They didn't see it coming," Spencer said.

He added, "The only other comment that they want to make is that this won't affect the way they proceed with the case. We're moving forward with taking the case to trial on Nov. 26."

He also said they assume the two agreed to cooperate with the government.

Federal prosecutors have said a superseding indictment would be issued this month, meaning Vick, Peace and Phillips could face additional charges.

Taylor's plea deal required him to testify against Vick and the other two, but shielded him from getting a stiffer sentence or facing any new charges.

Taylor, 34, of Hampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.

Vick and the others pleaded not guilty to the same charges in July.

The gruesome details outlined in the July 17 indictment have fueled public protests against Vick and prompted the suspension of some of his lucrative endorsement deals. Also, Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp.

The summary of facts signed by Taylor supports the indictment's claims that the dogfighting ring executed underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other brutal means.

Vick, 27, attended several dogfights in Virginia and other states with his partners, according to the statement. Prosecutors claim the fights offered purses as high as $26,000.

Taylor will be sentenced Dec. 14. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines likely will call for less.

Falcons coach Bobby Petrino said he has not spoken with his players about Vick's troubles since camp opened.

"I'm not ready to respond to anything regarding Michael because I know nothing new," Petrino said.

Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, Vick's teammate since 2002, said he recently spoke with the 27-year-old quarterback to offer his support. Dunn added, however, that the players have no choice but to move ahead and prepare for the Sept. 9 season opener at Minnesota.

"I don't think anybody on this team right now is hoping that Mike comes back," Dunn said. "If he comes back, that's great, but I just think right now we're at a point where the guys that are here are trying to get better and move on down the road. Mike is going to be missed and has been missed, but at the same time you have to go on."

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Tim Walters
1
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Tim Walters 08/14/07 - 05:21 am
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Everyone is saying Vick is

Everyone is saying Vick is innocent until proven guilty this is true. Go to smokinggun.com and read the 18 page indictment and you might change your mind. I know all of this has to be proven in court.' but as of this morning we have 3 of his friends that have rolled over on Vick by plea bargaining. The Government also has 5 cooperating witness's and what really amazes me is that only 1 of the fights really involved any amount of money $13,000 dollars. That fight Vick's dog lost and Vick personally paid the winner off. Vick cannot plea bargain' because that would admit some guilt. If he is found guilty of 1 dog fight he will not even be able to put the chalk lines on a Football field.

critter
2
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critter 08/14/07 - 05:45 am
0
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What really amazes me is that

What really amazes me is that someone who was making 130 million dollars would do anything this stupid to jeopardize that salary!

giveitsomethought
3
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giveitsomethought 08/14/07 - 07:54 am
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"Vick suffers additional

"Vick suffers additional blows" What a bogus header from the media, it should read that his true crime is animal cruelty but is getting away with a light sentence because it is the way the law treats famous people

bp101
0
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bp101 08/14/07 - 08:01 am
0
0
If he is convicted, I don't

If he is convicted, I don't think that the sentence will be light.

2centsworth
1
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2centsworth 08/14/07 - 08:33 am
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Ask Charles Walker, Robin

Ask Charles Walker, Robin Williams, Linda Schrenko, Rick Camp, Bill Campbell etc. about light sentences for "famous" people. With the Feds, it's more about being made an example of to bring compliance. It's not just about animal cruelty; Vick likely financed most or all of the operation. Oh yeah, only Linda said she was guilty - all the others are "political prisoners" unjustly railroaded for one reason or another.

dani
13
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dani 08/14/07 - 10:16 am
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How could Vick put himself in

How could Vick put himself in such a position? he doesn't know dog fighting is cruel and evil? and.. Now we hear that he
didn't do very well picking his cohorts. This has to be the most despicable thing I have heard lately. Dog-fighting and then being sacrificed by your friends? Wrong choices, fellow.

bone
23
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bone 08/14/07 - 05:05 pm
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when vick takes the plea

when vick takes the plea deal, what next? he'll have to admit a certain amount of guilt to some charges, but no way he'll agree to anything that requires prison time. does the nfl allow him to play again? do the apologists continue to scream racism? do the peta folks continue their naacp-style boycott (read: pointless and irrelevant political boycott) in the hopes of causing sponsors to stay away from vick?

critter
2
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critter 08/14/07 - 08:45 pm
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Most of Vick's sponsors have

Most of Vick's sponsors have already dropped him, so if peta had anything to do with it, I'd say they've been successful.

bone
23
Points
bone 08/15/07 - 04:30 am
0
0
the response from vick's

the response from vick's supporters is underwhelming. now that his lawyers are negotiating a plea deal, there is NO DOUBT that he is guilty. how will this be spun in another direction by idiots? i can hardly wait...

critter
2
Points
critter 08/15/07 - 08:46 am
0
0
The silence is

The silence is deafening......

intheknow
16
Points
intheknow 08/15/07 - 12:50 pm
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Where did you read that Vick

Where did you read that Vick was taking a plea deal? I believe that you and those like you have it wrong. Most of us are supporters of the rules of law. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THAT CONCEPT?

critter
2
Points
critter 08/15/07 - 01:43 pm
0
0
Let's see, I saw it on CNN,

Let's see, I saw it on CNN, Fox, and the AJC. Vick is listed as being very close to taking a plea deal due to the fact that his 3 buds have now rolled over on him and the Feds are going to up the ante to RICO if he doesn't move by Friday. Next?

bone
23
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bone 08/15/07 - 03:31 pm
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intheknow, please tell me you

intheknow, please tell me you are kidding. his lawyers ARE MEETING TO DISCUSS TERMS OF A PLEA DEAL. this is THE SAME as admitting guilt. i apologize for the allcaps, but you have completely wandered off the short pier on this one, intheknow. i still selfishly hope to see him play sports again 'cause he can be dynamite - but there is no doubt at this point that he is guilty of some serious criminal offenses that he will have to answer for. if there was a way to hold out hope, i assure you i would - who wants to hear about such a great athlete throwing their career away like this?

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