RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Michael Vick agreed Monday to plead guilty
to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges -- a deal that leaves the
Atlanta Falcons quarterback facing up to 18 months in prison and
puts his NFL career in jeopardy.
Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend Vick be
sentenced to between a year and 18 months in prison, according to a
government official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition
of anonymity because the terms have not yet been made final.
That would be a higher penalty than is usually recommended for
first-time convicts. It reflects an attempt by the government to
show that animal abusers will receive more than a slap on the wrist
for their crimes.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson will have the final say on how
much time Vick will ultimately spend in jail.
Vick's plea hearing is next Monday in Richmond, Virginia.
Defense attorney Billy Martin said Vick reached an agreement
with federal prosecutors after consulting with his family during
The NFL noted in a statement that Vick's admission wasn't in
line with what he told commissioner Roger Goodell shortly after he
was initially charged.
The league issued a statement saying it condemns the conduct
outlined in the charges.
The Falcons said they were ``certainly troubled'' by news of the
plea but would withhold further comment in compliance with
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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