Tony Taylor, Michael Vick Associate to Plead Guilty in Dog Fighting Case
Tony Taylor, on of the defendants accused of operating an interstate dogfighting conspiracy along with Michael Vick and two other defendants is scheduled to plead guilty in two days! He may be cooperating with authories, no difinitive word on that aspect yet, but one thing for sure, this may not be good news for Michael Vick and the other two defendants!
A U.S. District Court yesterday scheduled a plea agreement hearing for Taylor at 9 a.m. Monday before Judge Henry E. Hudson. Hudson also signed a sealed order in the dogfighting case yesterday, which may or may not be connected with Taylor’s plea agreement.
“This could be extremely bad news for Vick,” said Steven Benjamin, a prominent Richmond defense lawyer. “If Taylor is pleading, he’s cooperating with the prosecution. What we don’t know is what he knows.”
A call to Taylor’s attorney, Stephen Ashton Hudgins of Newport News, was not immediately returned last night. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
A federal grand jury indicted Vick, Taylor and two other co-defendants July 17 for “conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal-fighting venture.”
Taylor, 34, is from Hampton, a city on the Peninsula next to Newport News, which is Vick’s hometown. Vick, 27, is a former Virginia Tech star quarterback who lives in Atlanta, where he plays for the Falcons.
Also charged are Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta. Each defendant faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
If Taylor has knowledge that could hurt Vick or the other defendants, his agreement with federal prosecutors could transform the resolution of the case, now set for trial beginning in November.
Benjamin said it is rare for a defendant to plead to the indictment as charged. The defendant often is allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge or fewer counts. The government gets the defendant’s promise of full cooperation, truthfully telling what he knows to investigators, prosecutors, the grand jury and at trial.
Benjamin cautioned that it is possible Taylor is pleading guilty for his own reasons without a promise of cooperation and will have little information to add to the case. (InRich.com)
To read Tony Taylor’s Statement of Facts, download it HERE
To read the entire 19 page indictment, download it HERE
For more background and information as wll as all the up to date stories, please see – Michael Vick and Dogfighting
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