Vick Accepts Plea Deal

Michael Vick pleads guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges.

ByABC News
January 8, 2009, 1:14 AM

Aug. 20, 2007 — -- RICHMOND, Va. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick accepted a plea deal Monday and likely lengthy prison sentence to avoid additional federal charges in a dogfighting case that has driven his NFL career to a halt.

"After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick has asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding charges pending against him," Vick attorney Billy Martin 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.

The terms of Vick's sentence are not yet known.

All three of Vick's co-defendants have reached plea deals in the case. Vick had been facing a Nov. 26 trial date.

Vick's last two co-defendants pleaded guilty Friday and said he bankrolled gambling on dogfights at the quarterback's property in rural Surry County, not far from his hometown of Newport News. One said Vick helped drown or hang dogs that didn't do well.

Quanis Phillips of Atlanta and Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach entered plea agreements and agreed to testify against Vick. Tony Taylor of Hampton struck a similar deal last month.

The gambling allegations alone could trigger a lifetime ban under the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The NFL has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation.

Peace, Phillips and Taylor pleaded guilty to the same charges facing Vick: conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.

The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Their sentencings are set for November and December.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.