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Vick Pleads Guilty to Dogfighting Charges

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, already serving a prison sentence for federal dogfighting charges, pleaded guilty to a state dogfighting charge Tuesday.

Vick was in a Virginia court room Tuesday and entered his guilty plea in an effort to hasten his early release. He is currently serving a 23-month jail sentence in Leavenworth, Kansas for the federal offense and could be released to a federal halfway house in July.

Without the resolution of the state charges, Vick would not have been eligible for release to a halfway house. Tuesday’s plea comes after an agreement with Surry County officials. Vick was given a three-year prison sentence, which will remain suspended if good behavior guidelines are followed. One other charge involving animal cruelty was dropped.

The charges stem from a dogfighting and gambling operation conducted at a house owned by Vick in Smithfield, Virginia. In the federal plea, the former Pro Bowl selection did not admit to killing any dogs personally or gambling on the fights. The summary of facts accompanying the original plea agreement said Vick was aware four dogs were killed in 2002 and six to eight dogs were killed in April 2007 as a result of the “collective efforts” of Vick and two of his co-defendants.

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