Thrown to the Dogs: Michael Vick Will Plead Guilty

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A month after saying he looked forward to clearing his name, Michael Vick now acknowledges the heinous acts associated with his name are true.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback said through his lawyer that he will plead guilty to federal dogfighting charges, an admission that likely will mean prison time.

For now, hopes of salvaging his NFL career are secondary to his impending confinement. And any criticism we ever had of Alex Rodriguez seems like a complete joke.

"His focus is on his family, his focus is on answering to this judge," said Michael Vick's lead defense attorney, Billy Martin, after announcing the plea.

"Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to the charges against him 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."

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson can sentence Michael Vick to up to five years in prison and fine him $250,000, although federal sentencing guidelines call for less.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the terms are not final, told the AP that prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 12 to 18 months.

The sentence will be more than usually recommended for first-time offenders, as the U.S. government strives to show animal abusers they'll get more than a slap on the wrist.

Vick will return Monday to the same courthouse where he pleaded not guilty and resolved to prove his innocence just 25 days ago. This time he will plead guilty.

The NFL, in a statement, noted that Michael Vick's admission wasn't in line with what he told commissioner Roger Goodell after being charged:

"We are aware of Michael Vick's decision to enter a guilty plea to the federal charges against him and accept responsibility for his conduct. We totally condemn the conduct outlined in the charges, which is inconsistent with what Michael Vick previously told both our office and the Falcons. We will conclude our own review under the league's personal conduct policy as soon as possible."


Michael Vick Biography

Michael Vick Photo
Michael Vick is the troubled, former quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL, and a former All-American at Virginia Tech. The man... More »
Newport News, Virginia
Full Name
Michael Dwayne Vick