Michael Vick Pleads Guilty to More Dogfighting Charges in Virginia

October 22, 2008 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

michael-vick-3.jpgFormer NFL quarterback Michael Vick plans to plead guilty to state dogfighting charges, a step that could allow him to qualify for an early release from federal prison and into a halfway house, court papers show.

In a motion filed Oct. 15 in Surry County Circuit Court, Vick’s attorneys asked to have him enter his plea by video teleconference. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Oct. 30, Surry County Circuit Court administrator Sally Neblett said Tuesday.

The
court papers note that allowing Vick to appear on two-way video would
save the government the considerable expense of transporting him from
prison in Leavenworth, Kan., to Surry County. His guilty plea would also allow him to pursue a halfway house program.

Under
federal rules, Vick is ineligible to be released to a Residential
Re-entry Center in the federal system until any pending charges against
him are resolved.

In a statement, Vick
attorneys Billy Martin and Lawrence Woodward said their client “is
committed to taking responsibility for his actions. He is hopeful that,
through this motion, the trial court will allow him to finally resolve
these matters and put the charges behind him so that he can begin to
focus on his future and to prepare to be reunited with his family.”

The
plea deal, if approved, also would satisfy the county’s need to hold
him accountable for the grisly crimes he bankrolled and participated in
at a rural house he owned there.

“I’m not trying to make him suffer,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter said in a telephone interview. “I’m just trying to make him account for what he’s done.”

Vick
pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges tied to the dogfighting
operation last summer and is serving a 23-month term. Three convicted
co-defendants also face local charges. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons lists
Vick’s projected release date as July 20, 2009.

Vick
will have three years of federal probation upon his release from
prison, and the deal offered by Poindexter would tack on an unspecified
jail sentence, which would be suspended, and an additional year of
probation in the county, he said.

Poindexter said he’s not sure how quickly the judge would rule on the motion.

If
permitted by a judge, Vick’s video participation in the plea hearing
would not be the first time he has participated electronically. Prison
officials in Kansas have allowed the former Atlanta Falcons star to
listen via telephone line to each of his several bankruptcy hearings in recent months.

Source: AP

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