The Smoking Gun published the bill of indictment against Michael "Ookie" Vick and three other persons for "Conspiracy to Travel in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Unlawful Activities . . . ." Vick's street name in this venture was "Ookie."
Vick said he was not aware of dog fighting taking place on property he owned at 1915 Moonlight Road, Smithfield, Virginia. The indictment alleges that Vick bought the property in 2001 specifically to be the site for dog fighting, and that he was actively involved with his partners in the venture, identified as Bad Newz Kennels.
The indictment catalogs instances when Vick and his Bad Newz partners staged dog fights year-by-year. The feds list the dogs by name (Jane, Maniac, Tiny), but, at this point, identify cooperating witnesses as "CW."
Defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; although that doesn't work so well in the court of public opinion. We've seen the charges, but have not heard the witness testimony. The evidence has yet to be challenged. And yet, I have to wonder why Vick, with everything he had going for him, would put himself in the situation to be even tainted. That was incredibly poor judgement. Not that we all aren't guilty of poor judgement; but Vick had -- has -- so much more at risk. That name "Ookie" might just as well have been "Stoopid Fool."
Yesterday, I suggested that Vick come forward now, cop a plea, and tell what he knows. It may be too late. The indictment refers to a number of cooperating witnesses who are already pointing fingers at Vick. Ookie is scheduled to appear in court to answer the charges on July 26, which is also the first day of the Atlanta Falcons training camp.