Two more co-defendents, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips are schedualed to appear in federal court in Richmond VA on Thursday, August 16 2007 to enter plea agreements. Tony Taylor has already pleaded guilty on July 30 for his role in the dogfighting conspiracy. He has said that the "Bad Newz Kennel" operation and gambling monies were financed entirely by Michael Vick in the summary of facts that he signed during his plea.
Vick had pleaded not guilty to the charges last month and his trial is schedualed for November 26 2007. The plea agreement news can be added to the growing list of "bad newz" for Vick. Just today, the NFL was trying to clear up rumors that Vick would be suspended for all of the 2007 playing season.
Vick has already been banned from attending training camp and in the beginning of August, Rawlings ended it's relationship with him, joining a long list of other companies who have chosen to do that because of allegations against him.
It would seem that Michael Vick's ship is going down faster than the Titanic and he is going to end up playing with the band all the way to the bottom. If the allegations are true and they certainly sound as though they are............. it looks like he'll be playing football on the exercise yard team.
For my other posts, go here, here and here.
Update: posted Aug 14
"They didn't see it coming," stated Collins R Spencer III, spokesman for Vick's defense team.
It seems that what they didn't see coming was that plea agreements had been made with his other co defendents. Purnell Peace has a hearing at 9 am Aug 15 and Quanis Phillips will be there at 9 am Aug 16. Both men would then be free to testify against Vick after signing the agreements.
It has been reported that Vick himself has been offered a plea agreement as well and he has until Friday, Aug 16 to decide on whether he will accept it. If he doesn't, it has been said that a superseding indictment will be filed and he will be facing at least two more federal dogfighting charges.
Michael Vick had pleaded not guilty to charges conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponser a dog in an animal fighting venture. He had said in a written statement that he looked forward to clearing his good name and he pleaded with the public to resist a rush to judgement.
Eric Holder, a former deputy attorney general retained by the NFL is still gathering facts on Vick's alleged involvement in dogfighting according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. They only have to decide on whether Vick's conduct has violated league policy, including the Personal Conduct Policy.
It certainly seems as though we won't be Michael Vick on a playing field nearby, anytime soon.
A source close to the Vick investigation has stated that Vick is close to agreeing to plead guilty to dogfighting charges. If he does sign off on the plea, it is expected that he will enter his plea with his other two co defendents. Peace's hearing for Thursday has been reschedualed to Friday, so that all three could be in court the same day.
There is no word yet if Vick's agreement would include prison time and it has been reported as well, that his attornies are trying to work out an arrangement that would continue to allow him to play football in the NFL. Officials with the NFL have not made any comment on whether they would allow him to play with a felony conviction.
Tony Taylor had already agreed to plead guilty to charges and pledged to fully cooperate with the government. I can only guess that Taylor had some very "important" information for Peace and Philips to rush to make plea agreements as well. As for Micheal Vick..... if he indeed was the "Big Honcho" and bankrolled the years of dogfighting, he should be hit with the maximum they can get from him. I don't think any of his three co defendents should face a longer sentence than him, if indeed he manages to catch a break and face no jail time. I do understand why his attornies are working frantically though, since he is expected to face new federal charges next week.
The NFL will definately not be seen as bright though, if they allow Vick to continue playing football for them if he indeed does agree to plead guilty. What he is accused of doing wasn't a one-time lark.... he ran this kennel for many years, knowing fully that it was illegal.