Michael Vick pleads “GUILTY”

<strong>After pleading guilty Monday to federal conspiracy charges involving an illegal dogfighting operation, quarterback Michael Vick is waiting to hear if he’ll play professional football again.</strong>

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NFL star Michael Vick pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges Monday.

 Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank told the NFL Network Monday he was “not really surprised” by news of the quarterback’s plea.

“From a personal standpoint, he’s doing the right thing,” Blank said. “That’s been my counsel to him some while ago, and publicly as well, to get this behind him as quickly as he can.”

Blank said he could not speculate on Vick’s future as a Falcon, at least not until he has seen “a statement of facts” in the
case.

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The plea, he said, was “a step, and we’ll just deal with the facts as they become available.”

Vick’s attorneys had hoped to hear back from National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office earlier in the day about Vick’s career with the Atlanta Falcons before he agreed to any deal, the sources said.

It’s unclear if a conversation ever happened but Vick’s attorney Billy Martin said his client “agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his action and the mistakes he has made.”

“Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter,” Martin said. 
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After Vick’s indictment last month, Goodell ordered the quarterback not to report to training camp until the league completed its own review of the case.

An NFL spokesman said that the league “is aware” of Vick’s plea agreement and is considering what, if any, sanctions they should impose on the 27-year-old.

“We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons,” the spokesman said in a statement.

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“We will conclude our own review under the league’s personal conduct policy as soon as possible. In the meantime, we have asked the Falcons to continue to refrain from taking action pending a decision by the commissioner.”

According to Martin, Vick will appear August 27 in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, where the charges were brought, to enter the plea. The deal means Vick will avoid more serious charges that would have been considered by a grand jury that was to have convened the same day. 

Earlier, sources close to the case told CNN that federal prosecutors offered to recommend an 18- to 36-month prison sentence for the suspended star quarterback for his alleged role in the dogfighting operation, but that Vick’s attorneys were trying to reduce that to less than a year.

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The judge in the case will have the final say over the plea agreement.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Richmond would not discuss the case with CNN.

And the Falcons posted a response on their Web site, saying the team was “troubled” by the news.

Vick’s three codefendants in the dogfighting case had already accepted agreements to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentences.

Court documents released last week showed that two of Vick’s alleged partners said he helped kill dogs that didn’t fight well, and that the three men “executed approximately eight dogs” in ways that included hanging and drowning.

The dogs were killed because they fared poorly in “testing” sessions in April at Vick’s property in Virginia, where the dogfighting venture was based, according to documents released following guilty pleas from two co-defendants,  Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta.  See what Vick’s former co-defendants admitted »
Peace and Phillips pleaded guilty Friday. A third man, Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia, pleaded guilty July 30.

In the court documents, Peace and Phillips said that the money behind the Bad Newz Kennels dogfighting operation came “almost exclusively” from Vick, and they told prosecutors that other accusations in the 18-page indictment are true.
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Thank you AP News
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There you have it sports fans and Baby Boomers…GUILTY…by his own plea…
Finally, he stands up like a man and faces what he has done.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

~ by thebabyboomerqueen on August 21, 2007.

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