Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why Michael Vick is worried - IV

The latest on Michael Vick: Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips, the remaining co-defendants in the case, are reportedly scheduled to appear in court at the end of the week to accept plea agreements in the case. Defendant Tony Taylor reached a plea agreement only days after entering his not guilty plea at his arraignment.

Vick is the only defendant who has not reached a plea deal. His lawyers met with federal prosecutors Monday. They planned to discuss options with Vick after the meeting. The feds are giving Vick until this Friday to accept a deal, or face additional charges in the case.

AUG. 14, 2007 UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Vicks legal team is negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The lawyers did not speak with their client last evening. Perhaps they would like to know the outline of an agreement to present to Vick to see what direction he wants to take. With no plea deal, Vick could face additional charges supported by testimony by his former co-defendants and alleged partners in Bad Newz Kennels.

Read the details at ESPN.

The Official Website of Michael Vick opens with a video tribute to Virginia Tech University. The last news item listed is a January 18, 2007 link to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story that opens

"One thing's certain; quarterback Michael Vick is not getting traded. He's not getting cut. He's not going anywhere. Barring injury, Vick is the Falcons' starting quarterback."

The link to the fan message board is broken, but the Vick Store link is working. An Atlanta Falcons #7 jersey is available through the store. However, Reeboc, the official supplier of NFL clothing, announced that they would no longer sell Michael Vick jerseys.

Vicks K9 Kennel website is no longer available. The existence of this site was the first inconsistency between Vicks statements about the case and emerging facts.

Vick denied knowledge of the operation when the suspected dog fighting site was discovered on his Surry County, Virginia, property. He accused his relatives as the responsible parties. Vick's aunt, and his cousin, Davon Boddy, lived at the address. Neither were named in the indictment.

Vick said he rarely visited the property, but investigators turned up testimony that he was regularly seen in the area.

Vick denied involvement in dog fighting, but the revelation that he held a Pit Bull dog breeding license and the web site www.vicksk9kennels.com/ listing the Surry County address undercut that argument. The web site specifically stated "we do not raise dogs for fighting purposes."

In an April 2007 meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Vick denied any involvement in dog fighting. Federal prosecutors allege that Michael "Ookie" Vick has been the financier of a dog fighting ring, Bad Newz Kennels, since 2000, and that Vick participated -- in April -- in killing eight "young dogs" that showed insufficient gameness for dog fighting.

Now, it all comes crashing down around him. It appears that all of the other defendants are prepared to enter guilty pleas and co-operate with the prosecutors against Vick. The NFL is investigating whether Vick's actions, including his statements to Goodell, violated the league's personal conduct policy. He has lost his lucrative endorsement deals.

It looks bad, but there is redemption in there for Michael Vick. It's all up to him.

Questions linger. How could so talented young man, who held life by the tail, waste his wealth on a thing like this? Why was he anywhere near enough to dog fighting to even be tainted by such a thing?

It you sleep with the dogs, you will get up with fleas.

Photo: www.all-creatures.org/

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