Lawyer: Michael Vick to plead guilty
A lawyer for Michael Vick said Monday the NFL star will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, putting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback's career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a possible prison term.
The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines likely would call for less.
"After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him,'' lead defense attorney Billy Martin of Washington, D.C., said in a statement.
"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.''
Surry County Commonwealth's attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said, "I didn't see many options for him," when he heard Vick planned to plead guilty to the dogfighting conspiracy charge.
He also said local charges are likely, but he didn't say against whom.
"Crimes have been committed, and the people of Surry County and the Commonwealth Virginia have a right to be vindicated," Poindexter said. "I don't see any overlapping between what has been pled to in the federal system and what happend here in the county."
He said he's not sure what charges he would pursue. All the physical evidence is in the hands of the federal prosecutors, he said.
"I don't have one clue what the physical evidence shows at this point," Poindexter said. "I certainly have paid attention to the sworn admissions the co-defendants have offered as part of their plea agreements."
Vick's plea hearing will be Aug. 27, Martin said.