Michael Vick Update – 8/24/07
Michael Vick’s plea agreement was filed in Federal Court today as well as his ‘Statement of Facts’, both of which you can download below.
Basically he admits to funding the operation, attending dogfights and ‘participating’ in the killing of dogs. It was initially reported by sources that he would completely distance himself from the gambling and killing. Well, he didn’t distance himself completely but by much of the wording in his Summary of Facts, he does try to distance himself as much as he can by making ambiguous statements.
He was very specific that he did not place any side bets or receive any of the winnings from the gambling. But isn’t providing the monies for the gambling just as bad? Isn’t that gambling as well? Maybe I can see him not actually placing bets or taking the winnings, the man had a $130 million dollar contract! Perhaps he wasn’t into this for the money, he was into it for the fun and the thrill!! But even if he didn’t bet or take monies that certainly doesn’t make him innocent of involvement in gambling since he admits to have provided the money for it. He put up the monies for the ‘purses.’ Although considering he’s lied pretty much every step of the way since April, why do we believe him now? So by his wording he does attempt, to a degree, to distance himself from the gambling. This, as I see it, is his bid to leave the door open to get back to the NFL.
In the documents, signed by the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and Newport News native, Vick says he provided “most of the ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ operation and gambling monies” but that he did not participate in the side bets that often accompanied the dogfights.
He also admitted that he participated in the killing of six to eight dogs that didn’t perform well in test fights by various methods, including hanging and drowning them.
“Vick agrees and stipulates that these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick,” the documents said.
He also admitted to being aware of times that his co-defendants killed a number of dogs that performed poorly in test fights. (Chicago Tribune)
He also does a bit of a ‘soft sell’ on the issue of killing the dogs. Peace and Phillips are pretty straightforawd in saying, “All three participated in the executing the dogs,” whereas Vick makes the rather ambiguous statement, “these dogs all died as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick.”
So at this time when Vick is supposed to finally be ‘coming clean’ he is still playing games, word games.
â€œOur position has been that we are going to try to help Judge Hudson understand all the facts and Michaelâ€™s role,â€ Vickâ€™s lead defense attorney, Billy Martin, said in telephone interview. â€œMichaelâ€™s role was different than others associated with this incident.â€
Martin said Vick will â€œspeak to the public and explain his actions,â€ but he declined to say whether that will occur in court or in a news conference after Mondayâ€™s hearing. (MSNBC)
Yeah, Vick’s position was different alright, he was the ‘main man,’ the ‘money man’ in the ‘business enterprise’ known as Bad Newz Kennels!!
The plea agreement stipulates 12 to 18 months in jail as well as paying for the disposition of all the pitbulls seized in April – “Such costs may include, but are not limited to, all costs associated with the care of the dogs involved in that case, including if necessary, the long-term care and/or the humane euthanasia of some or all of those animals.” U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson will be on the bench Monday when Vick formally enters his plea and he’s known for handing out stiff penalties, it’s unlikely that Vick will be looking at only a few months in jail and although the prosecutors are recommending 12-18 months, the judge is not bound by those recommendations.
Interestingly, Virginia could still bring charges against Vick, especially now in light of that fact that he has admitted guilt.
The federal case against Vick focused on the interstate conspiracy, but Vick’s admission that he was involved in the killing of dogs could lead to local charges, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
“It sometimes happens — not often — that the state will follow a federal prosecution by charging its own crimes for exactly the same behavior,” Toobin said Friday.
“The risk for Vick is, if he makes admissions in his federal guilty plea, the state of Virginia could say, ‘Hey, look, you admitted violating Virginia state law as well. We’re going to introduce that against you and charge you in our court.’ “
And actually since he is being prosecuted by the feds for and pleading guilty to “Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities and to Sponsor a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture”, he could still be charged in Virginia for animal cruelty, which is a charge he is not facing under the federal indictment.
As for the NFL and gambling, the NFL’s anti-gambling policy states that a player can be suspended indefinitely or have his contract terminated if he “knowingly associates with gamblers or gambling activity.” Seems to me that Vick certainly fits the bill there so when are we finally going to hear something from the NFL more then just ‘wait and see’… we’ve waited… and waited… now I’d like to see them make a decision, preferably one that excludes Vick from the NFL for the rest of his life!
To read Michael Vick’s Plea Agreement, download it HERE
To read Michael Vick’s Statement of Facts, download it HERE
For all the background and information as well as the full indictment and Pernell, Peace and Taylorâ€™s â€˜Statements of Factsâ€™, please see – Michael Vick and Dogfighting
Time’s Up for the Dogs
Since 5 pm yesterday was the deadline for anyone to claim ownership of the dogs removed from Vick’s property in April, their time is up! By default, the dogs are now property of the federal government. Actually only the pitbulls.
Of the 66 dogs originally removed from the property, the suit filed by the US Attorney’s office stipulated that they sought custody only of the pitbulls. At this time only 50 of the dogs remain, two have died and one, a Presa Canario, was claimed by an unnamed owner.
Prosecutors have asked to have the dogs euthanized but there is no indication when this may take place. The final decision is up to U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson as to what the dogs fate will be.
So on top of the dogs that have already been killed by Vick and his cohorts, we will probably be adding the death of yet 50 more dogs to the list of innocent and defenseless dogs that Vick is responsible for ending the life of.
Michael Boddie on Michael Vick
Michael Boddie, estranged father of Michael Vick says that dogfighting with Michael Vick goes back a ways. He says he remembers dogfights staged in the garage of their family home in Newport New, VA. Boddie described cleaning up after his son’s dog fights and encouraging him to put the Virginia property in someone else’s name so activities there couldn’t be traced back to him. Boddie’s comments are somewhat questionable because he admits to being estranged from Vick in recent months after trying unsuccessfully to get as much as $1 million from him.
He also dismisses the allegations that his friends were the instigators in setting up the operation, “I wish people would stop sugarcoating it,” Boddie said. “This is Mike’s thing. And he knows it.”
He “likes it, and he has the capital to have a set up like that.”
You can check out the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to read the rest of this.
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