August 24, 2007
RICHMOND, Va. (cbssportsline.com/AP) -- Michael Vick filed his plea agreement in federal court Friday admitting to conspiracy in a dogfighting ring and helping kill pit bulls. He denied ever betting on the fights, only bankrolling them.
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is scheduled to formally enter his plea Monday in U.S. District Court.
"Most of the Bad Newz Kennels operation and gambling monies were provided by Vick," a summary of facts in the case said, echoing language in plea agreements by three co-defendants who previously pleaded guilty.
The statement said that when the kennel's dogs won, the gambling proceeds were generally shared by Vick's three co-defendants -- Tony Taylor, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips.
"Vick did not gamble by placing side bets on any of the fights. Vick did not receive any of the proceeds of the purses that were won by Bad Newz Kennels," the summary said.
According to the statement, Vick also was involved in killing six to eight dogs that did not perform well in test sessions last April. The dogs were executed by drowning or hanging.
"Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts" of Vick and two of the co-defendants, Phillips and Peace, the statement says.
In the plea agreement, the government committed to recommending a sentence on the low end of the federal sentencing guideline range of a year to 18 months. However, the conspiracy charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, and the judge is not bound by any recommendation or by the sentencing guidelines.
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, who will accept Vick's plea, has a reputation for imposing stiff sentences, according to lawyers who have appeared in his court. Vick will not be sentenced for several months.