Michael Vick plans guilty plea to state dogfighting charges

Posted to: Crime Michael Vick News Virginia


Former NFL star Michael Vick plans to plead guilty to state dogfighting charges in an effort to get an early release from federal prison and enter a halfway house, according to papers filed in Surry County Circuit Court.

If the plea deal goes as planned, it would help Vick overcome several obstacles in his goal to return to professional football next year.

Vick’s attorneys filed court papers seeking permission to let Vick plead guilty via video-conference call from the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., where he is serving a 23-month term for his role in an interstate dogfighting conspiracy.

Vick, 28, pleaded guilty to a federal charge in August 2007. He still faces single felony counts of dogfighting and cruelty to animals in state court. Each charge carries up to five years in prison, but Vick is not expected to serve additional prison time, according to a source close to the case who has seen details of the plea deal but requested anonymity because it has not been filed in the court.

Surry County Circuit Court officials said a hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 30, when Vick’s lawyers will ask a judge for permission to take the plea by video conference. No specific date for the plea itself has been officially set.

The papers, filed Oct. 15, say that Federal Bureau of Prisons policy requires an inmate resolve any pending charges before being allowed entry into a halfway house. A bureau spokeswoman confirmed that policy.

Vick’s scheduled release date is July 20, and the soonest he could enter a program is six months before that.

Vick’s lawyers, Lawrence H. Woodward Jr. of Virginia Beach and William R. “Billy” Martin of Washington, declined to answer questions Tuesday but issued a statement.

“Mr. Vick is committed to taking responsibility for his actions,” the statement reads.

“He is hopeful that, through this motion, the trial court will allow him to finally resolve these matters and put the charges behind him so that he can begin to focus on his future and to prepare to be reunited with his family,” the statement concludes.

Surry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter did not return phone calls for comment Wednesday. The court filings indicate that he has agreed to the plea deal.

Vick’s state trial has been postponed repeatedly since he was indicted in Surry County more than a year ago. Poindexter has not been willing to pay to have Vick and other co-defendants transported from various federal prisons.

Vick and his attorneys have made it clear that he plans to seek reinstatement to the National Football League. Vick is under indefinite suspension by the league. The Atlanta Falcons, where Vick starred for six seasons before his arrest, have said they have no interest in Vick.

A transfer to a halfway house would make it easier for Vick to seek reinstatement to the NFL.

Federal halfway houses are privately run facilities that “provide a safe, structured, supervised environment, as well as employment counseling, job placement, financial management assistance, and other programs and services,” according to a description on the Bureau of Prisons’ Web site.

In a halfway house, Vick would be free to seek employment and meet with the NFL and any interested teams, but he would be monitored 24 hours a day until he completes his sentence.

About 250 federal halfway houses are managed by 28 government field offices throughout the country. Twenty of the 28 offices are in NFL cities.


Tim McGlone, (757) 446-2343, tim.mcglone@pilotonline.com

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Oh please, this man has only

Oh please, this man has only received a slap on the wrist and now is getting special treatment! I'm sure there are plenty other "non-famous" prisoners that deserve to got to that half-way house. The fact that a half-way house is even being mentioned while there are still pending charges is ridiculous.

Money or the crime?

It seems to me that many posters are more upset over the prospect of Michael Vick resuming his lucrative career than they are over the crime itself.

I have a feeling that these same people would be ok if the man had been of a more mainstream income level and got back to work as soon as he could after being released.

Vick felt He was Untouchable, and Above the Law..

Well he is paying the price for it. Hopefully the feds will keep Poindexter from dismissing charges, and he can serve the rest of his sentence. He should do ALl of his time that he owes society for what he did, and then get out. Once he is free, he should be able to carry on with whatever he plans to do, although i personally believe his career will never be the same. Once again, money and power corrupt if you allow them to. Im sure PETA and others will be watching his every move for the rest of his life. Ind the end, as long as he doesnt re-offend, who cares what he does? I dont.

NFL= Big business

The public looks at professional sports as a favorite pass time. In reality it is nothing but big business on a scale that is unheard of. Unfortunately Vick will be looked at as a comodity, can we make money off of him, can we gain some notariety? That answer is yes! Some team will hire Vick, but not at the cost he could have demanded before dog fighting. He will be used for several years and then discarded after saving what ever team will have him untold millions. Professional sports, big business. Get the point, it's a money maker that happens to entertain millions. It is so big that the average Joe can not afford to go to a popular game. Look at it for what it is, big business, not a national pass time.

The NFL needs tto be either the No Felons League or the National

Felons league. I think that in the interest of the common good Congress needs to pass a law barring all future Felons from profiting from professional sports. Whether anyone likes it or not most high paid athletes are looked up to as role models. Most of us regular Joes live our lives without getting in trouble with the law. Ask any regular Joe if he was paid several hundred thousand dollars a year or more if he could stay out of trouble with the law? The answer is a resounding yes. So I say that those who want to make large sums of money as professional sports athletes need to stay out of felony trouble with the law. Misdemeanors are one thing and I draw the line at felonies. If an athlete can't avoid a felony then too bad, there are plenty of non felons to take their place. I am tired of seeing felons continue their privileged lives in professional sports.


Though I do not agree with what Vick has done I also feel that he has lost enough. We all deserve a second chance and I see what Vick did as a matter of belief or a subscription to an idea that dog fighting is alright. There are many cultures that practice custumes similar and worse, custumes that are deplorable to others. Because that custume is no longer acceptable, or out of the closet does not negate the fact that it was practiced and passed down from generation to generation as an acceptable form of lifestyle (yes, I find it difficult to describe it as that). Education rather than alienation should be forefront here.certainly this young man cannot do harm to any animal by being afforded the opportunity to salvage what is left of his career/his life, he is, after all human and worthy of humane treatment. Unforgiveness, bashing, and punishing this man for the rest of his life will have no possitive impact on anyone, something about "...throwing that first stone"
Of course if he should align himself again with this type of foolishness then " ...off with his head!" Everyone should get one chance

He paid his debt to society

Once his time is up, he has every right to apply for the job he has been trained to do. If I was a banker and went to jail for a non-job related offense and was released after serving my time, I would apply to banking positions with the hope that human resources folks look at my resume for it's worth and not punish me again for my miscues. For such a christian region, folks sure aren't very forgiving around here.


Jerry "I will hire all the felons and malcontents" Jone sof the Dallas Cowboys will probably hire him and Marcus. The team photo will look like a mugshot. Maybe the mascot will be a bulldog.

There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind

that some NFL team will welcome him with open arms. The NFL owners are (with a few exceptions) shameless egomaniacs (like many college sports coaches) who pay meaningless lip service to the issue of "character." I can't wait to see and hear the news conference where he is introduced by a coach or owner and hear how they rationalized their decision to pay him a fortune to play for them.


Uhhh dream on!!!!!

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