Vick co-defendant pleads guilty
Vail, CO Colorado
RICHMOND, Va. ” One of Michael Vick’s co-defendants pleaded guilty Monday to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Tony Taylor, 34, who will be sentenced Dec. 14, said he was not promised any specific sentence in return for his cooperation with the government.
Taylor, of Hampton, entered his plea in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
Vick, the star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and two other co-defendants pleaded not guilty last week to similar charges.
The offenses carry a maximum punishment of five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Prosecutors claimed in a July 17 indictment that Taylor found the Surry County property that Vick purchased and used as the site of “Bad Newz Kennels,” a dogfighting enterprise. Taylor also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.
According to the 18-page indictment, the dogfighting ring executed underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other brutal means. It alleges that the fights offered purses as high as $26,000.
The grisly details outlined in the indictment have fueled protests and public outrage against Vick. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has banned Vick from the Falcons’ training camp while the league investigates.
Vick and Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, are scheduled for trial Nov. 26. They remain free without bond.