(AP) – Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to a federal dogfighting charge.
The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback entered his guilty plea in Richmond, Virginia, before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson. The judge asked Vick whether he knew what evidence the government had against him and whether he had gone over the facts of the case with his legal team.
The plea agreement calls for a sentencing range of 12 to 18 months. But Hudson is not bound by any recommendation or federal sentencing guidelines and could sentence Vick to as much as five years in prison.
In his written plea, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight pit bulls and supplying money for gambling on the fights. He said he did not personally place any bets or share in any winnings.
Sentencing for Vick is set for December 10.
Vowing to redeem himself, Michael Vick apologized for his actions after formally pleading guilty to a federal dogfighting charge.
Speaking at a Richmond, Virginia, hotel, Vick softly and solemnly apologized to the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons and his teammates.
Vick, who has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL without pay, said he “made a mistake in using bad judgment and making bad decisions.” He also called dogfighting a “terrible thing.”
The Atlanta Falcons say they will not cut Michael Vick immediately from their roster.
Team owner Arthur Blank says that legal and salary-cap issues prevent the team from making that move, despite Vick being suspended indefinitely by the NFL last week.
The team does intend to pursue the $22 million in bonus money that he has already received in a $130 million contract that he signed in 2004.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)