Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick formally entered a guilty plea to one federal charge relating to a dogfighting conspiracy in
Vick signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors last week and appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson on Monday morning to make it official.
"Michael entered a plea of guilty to one count of the conspiracy indictment," said attorney Billy Martin outside the courtroom after the brief hearing. "I am not going to address either the charges or Michael."
Martin added that Vick will hold a press conference later today, at which time he will issue a brief statement.
Under terms of the plea agreement, signed last Thursday, federal prosecutors have agreed to recommend sentencing at the low end of the guideline range -- reportedly from to 18 months. However,
Following last week's plea announcement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell imposed an indefinite suspension on Vick.
The former Pro Bowl selection did not admit to killing any dogs personally or gambling on the fights. The summary of facts accompanying the plea agreement said Vick was aware four dogs were killed in 2002 and six to eight dogs were killed this past April as a result of the "collective efforts" of Vick and two of his co-defendants.
According to the agreement, Vick and his co-defendants -- Tony Taylor, Quanis Phillips and Purnell Peace -- "rolled" or "tested" Bad Newz Kennels dogs in 2002 by putting them through fighting sessions to determine which ones were good fighters.
"Vick was aware that Phillips, Peace and
As for the gambling allegations, the summary said Vick did not gamble "by placing side bets on any of the fights" and did not receive any of the proceeds from the purses. But the summary also states that most of the Bad Newz Kennels' operation and gambling monies were provided by Vick, and the quarterback and his three co-defendants claimed purses when their dogs won fights.
Vick, as part of the plea bargain, has also agreed to aid the government by testifying on its behalf at any grand juries, trials or other proceedings.