CBS: Vick Admits Guilt in Dogfighting Operation

CBS/AP) NFL star quarterback Michael Vick did not admit killing dogs or gambling on dog fights, but said he will plead guilty to the charge of interstate commerce for the purpose of dogfighting .

Vick did agree the enterprise included killing fighting dogs and gambling, according to the plea agreement filed with the court on Friday.

Vick could face up to five years in prison, but under the non-binding agreement, the government will recommend a lesser sentence, according to the agreement.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is scheduled to formally enter his plea Monday in U.S. District Court. He signed the plea agreement Thursday.

If convicted, Vick's football career could end. Three co-defendants already pleaded guilty and were expected to testify against Vick if the case went to trial. In addition, a Virginia prosecutor is considering bringing state charges against Vick.

"It is not uncommon in plea agreements for the defendant to plead guilty to only one charge and to negotiate with prosecutors over the specific facts to which he’ll admitting. In this case, prosecutors may not care that he’s not admitted to gambling so long as he gets a significant prison sentence, CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen said.

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Plea Agreement Summary Of The Facts
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Meanwhile, Vick's father said he asked his son to give up dogfighting, or to at least put property used in the venture in the names of others to avoid being implicated, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In The Journal-Constitution report posted on the newspaper's Web site Thursday night, Michael Boddie, who is estranged from Vick and the quarterback's mother, also said some time around 2001 his son staged dogfights in the garage of the family home in Newport News, Va.

Boddie told the newspaper Vick kept fighting dogs in the family's backyard, including dogs that were "bit up, chewed up, exhausted." Boddie claimed to have nursed the dogs back to health.

The indictment against Vick does not mention the parents' former home in Newport News.

In the report, Boddie dismissed the idea that Vick's longtime friends were the main instigators of the dogfighting operation.

"I wish people would stop sugarcoating it," Boddie told The Journal-Constitution. "This is Mike's thing. And he knows it ... likes it, and he has the capital to have a set up like that."

More than 50 pit bulls seized from Vick's property faced a Thursday deadline to be claimed or be euthanized.

Federal prosecutors filed court documents last month to condemn 53 pit bulls seized in April as part of the investigation into dogfighting on the Vick's property. No one has claimed any of the dogs, which are being held at several unspecified shelters in eastern Virginia, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

The report said Boddie and the quarterback have had a volatile relationship for years and that his son has refused to speak with him directly for the last 2½ half months.

Boddie, 45, lives in an apartment his son has paid the rent on for the last three years. Vick, who has a $130 million contract with the Falcons, also gives him a couple of hundred dollars every week or two, the father told the newspaper.

In the report, Boddie also said he asked Vick for $1 million, spread out over 12 years, Vick declined, the father said. Recently, Boddie asked Vick, through an assistant, for $700,000 to live on.

© MMVII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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