Pages

Monday, August 13, 2007

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF VICK

The two remaining co-defendants in the Michael Vick federal dogfighting case scheduled a plea agreement hearing Monday, an indication that they will plead guilty and testify against Vick.



Purnell Peace has a hearing set for 9 a.m. Thursday and Quanis L. Phillips has a hearing set for 9 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., before District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Last month, the third co-defendant Tony Taylor accepted a deal and entered a guilty plea. The agreement required him to testify against the others.

"There's no telling until the actual pleas, but this doesn't sound like good news for Michael Vick," said Kent Alexander, once the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta and now Emory University's general counsel. "Usually, if people plead guilty early in a case they may be cooperating with the government. That's what it sounds like here."

Taylor, who along with Vick pleaded not guilty to the charges July 26, promised to cooperate with federal prosecutors and share "detailed facts" for their case against Vick, Peace and Phillips.

Taylor also signed a 13-page statement of facts outlining the charges against him, Vick and the two others, stating they are "true and accurate" and that had Taylor's case gone to trial prosecutors could have proved "these facts beyond a reasonable doubt."

Judge Hudson set Taylor's sentencing date for Dec. 14. Vick, Peace and Phillips' trial date was set for Nov. 26 before Hudson.

They face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Prosecutors could recommend a lighter sentence for Taylor depending on how cooperative he is, legal experts said, and that is why the court set Taylor's sentencing for a date after the trial.

Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va., said little in court during his 15-minute long hearing last month. He and his attorney, Stephen Hudgins, declined to comment as they left the courthouse.

A federal grand jury indicted Taylor, Vick and the two others this month on a single count of conspiracy to cross state lines to engage in illegal gambling; to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture, and to buy, transport and receive dogs for animal fighting.

Taylor pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.

2 comments:

D-Man said...

Punishment? Lock him in a cage, slatherd with gravy, with the dogs he trained for fighting...

Nancy said...

Well said, I agree with d-man