Vick co-defendant pleads guilty to dogfighting conspiracy charges

Crime, Law and JusticeTrials and ArbitrationFootballSportsJustice SystemDog (animal)Entertainment

One of Michael Vick's co-defendants pleadedguilty Monday to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a pleaagreement with prosecutors.

Tony Taylor, 34, who will be sentenced Dec. 14, said he was notpromised any specific sentence in return for his cooperation withthe government.

Taylor, of Hampton, entered his plea in U.S. District Court toconspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawfulactivities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fightingventure.

Vick, the star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and twoother co-defendants pleaded not guilty last week to similarcharges.

The offenses carry a maximum punishment of five years in prisonand fines of up to $250,000.

Prosecutors claimed in a July 17 indictment that Taylor foundthe Surry County property that Vick purchased and used as the siteof "Bad Newz Kennels," a dogfighting enterprise. Taylor alsoallegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogsthat fared poorly in test fights.

According to the 18-page indictment, the dogfighting ringexecuted underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other brutalmeans. It alleges that the fights offered purses as high as$26,000.

The grisly details outlined in the indictment have fueledprotests and public outrage against Vick. NFL commissioner RogerGoodell has banned Vick from the Falcons' training camp while theleague investigates.

Vick and Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L.Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, are scheduled for trial Nov. 26. Theyremain free without bond.

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