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  1. #1
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    [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jail

    Vick must decide whether to accept plea agreement
    ESPN.com news services
    Updated: August 14, 2007, 7:35 PM ET

    Lawyers representing Michael Vick on federal dogfighting charges are trying to negotiate a plea agreement that would include less than the year of prison time that prosecutors have offered, ESPN learned on Tuesday.

    A source also said that Vick's attorneys have recommended that the embattled quarterback accept a deal if it includes less than a year of jail time, but he has not decided whether to fight the charges.

    Vick's situation became more tenous on Monday night when two more co-defendants decided to cooperate with the government. Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips are scheduled to appear in federal court in Richmond on Friday to accept plea agreements. That clears them to testify against Vick.

    Collins R. Spencer III, a spokesman for Vick's lawyers, said they were surprised by the plea deals.

    "They didn't see it coming," Spencer said.

    Sources told ESPN's Kelly Naqi that Vick attorneys Larry Woodward and Billy Martin met with federal prosecutor Michael Gill and the investigators on Monday afternoon.

    In a Richmond, Va., court in late July, Vick pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. He said in a written statement that he looked forward to "clearing my good name." He also pleaded with the public to resist a rush to judgment.

    Another of Vick's co-defendants, 34-year-old Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty to the same charges and has pledged to fully cooperate with the government in its prosecution of Vick and the two others. The plea deal requires Taylor to testify against Vick and his two remaining co-defendants if called upon to do so.

    A source close to the investigation told Naqi that Vick has until Friday to make up his mind whether to accept a plea agreement. Otherwise a superseding indictment will be filed and Vick will face at least two more federal dogfighting charges.

    Meanwhile, the NFL dismissed a report Sunday that said commissioner Roger Goodell was close to announcing a season-long suspension of Vick.

    Citing two sources within the league, Yahoo.com reported late Sunday night that Goodell will announce "this week or next" that Vick will be suspended for the 2007 season.

    "That's the direction it's going and has been from the time this started," one of the sources said this week, according to Yahoo. "The plan was to make sure it was announced before the season. Given what everybody has seen from what [league] security found and what the feds are telling us, there's really no choice."

    Eric Holder, a former deputy attorney general retained by the league, is still gathering facts on Vick's alleged involvement in dogfighting, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday.

    "The commissioner has not made any decision," Aiello said.

    The gruesome details outlined in the July 17 indictment have fueled public protests against Vick and prompted the suspension of some of his lucrative endorsement deals. The summary of facts signed by Taylor supports the indictment's claims that the dogfighting ring on Vick's property in Surry County, Va., executed underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other brutal means. Taylor admitted shooting one dog and electrocuting another when they did not perform well in test fights in the summer of 2002.

    Vick has been barred from Falcons training camp by Goodell while the league conducts its investigation.

    "While it is for the criminal justice system to determine your guilt or innocence, it is my responsibility as commissioner of the National Football League to determine whether your conduct, even if not criminal, nonetheless violated league policies, including the Personal Conduct Policy," Goodell said in a letter to the quarterback on July 24.

    Falcons coach Bobby Petrino said he has not spoken with his players about Vick's troubles since camp opened.

    "I'm not ready to respond to anything regarding Michael because I know nothing new," Petrino said.

    Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, Vick's teammate since 2002, said he recently spoke with the 27-year-old quarterback to offer support. Dunn added, however, that the players have no choice but to move ahead and prepare for the Sept. 9 season opener at Minnesota.

    "I don't think anybody on this team right now is hoping that Mike comes back," Dunn said. "If he comes back, that's great, but I just think right now we're at point where the guys that are here are trying to get better and move on down the road. Mike is going to be missed and has been missed, but at the same time you have to go on."

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  2. #2
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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    I thought mikey wanted to clear his good name and now he's thinking of making a deal,why would a guy who claims he knows nothing about this take a deal ? what a jerk,I hope he doesnt take a deal and they find him gulity,then he can do many more years in prison,what a jerk,did I say that already ? sorry

  3. #3
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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    I thought mikey wanted to clear his good name and now he's thinking of making a deal,why would a guy who claims he knows nothing about this take a deal ? what a jerk,I hope he doesnt take a deal and they find him gulity,then he can do many more years in prison,what a jerk,did I say that already ? sorry
    I wonder what number MV will be?

  4. #4
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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    It's hard to see MV ever playing in the nfl again now. I could see him playing cfl and afl after his jail sentence or whatever but i don't see him playing in the nfl what with goodell's player conduct policy and all.

  5. #5
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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    What I don't get is how he can cop a plea if the other people being tried in this case are getting deals to testify against him. Isn't the whole idea that the prosecution lets the little fish off in exchange for strengthening the case against the bigger fish? If nobody takes the fall for the crime, what purpose do the plea deals serve?

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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    What I don't get is how he can cop a plea if the other people being tried in this case are getting deals to testify against him. Isn't the whole idea that the prosecution lets the little fish off in exchange for strengthening the case against the bigger fish? If nobody takes the fall for the crime, what purpose do the plea deals serve?
    I wondered the same thing. I've heard some former presecuters speculate that by dealing with Vick, the Feds could get valuable info on others who might be involved. They also said that because he's rich, a celebrity and still very popular in Virginia where the case would be prosecuted, a deal would eliminate the possibility of a sympathetic jury letting him walk, as in the case of O.J. Simpson.

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    Re: [ESPN]: Vick's lawyers negotiating a plea agreement, want less than a year in jai

    Maybe Vick is a small fish in this dismal pond. Maybe the feds have their eyes on someone else and they need the little guys to rat them out. That might explain the plea offer, or maybe they just want the case to end with some sort of punishment given. This thing could drag on forever.
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