Prosecutor lacks solid evidence to charge Vick

Updated: May 24, 2007, 12:23 AM ET
Associated Press

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- The prosecutor investigating whether property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was part of a dog fighting operation said Wednesday he still doesn't have solid evidence linking Vick to dog fighting.

"I know everybody is saying, 'When are those fools in Surry County going to get up off their butts and do something?"' Poindexter told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk on Wednesday. "But what are we going to do?"

Poindexter said there are no eyewitnesses who say they saw dog fighting at the home where 66 dogs were seized along with equipment that could be associated with dog fighting. The discoveries were made during a drug raid at the home on April 25.

The dogs are being held in kennels in four counties, the newspaper reported, and Poindexter said they will be held until the investigation has been completed.

What happens to them after that isn't up to Poindexter, he said.

Historically, dogs seized and found to have been part of a dog fighting operation are euthanized because their level of aggression makes them unfit pets and neighbors, according to John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States.

"It's simply not fair to someone who has a black lab or a Yorkie to have a fighting dog next door, because if that dog gets loose, he's going to ... kill that person's pet," Goodwin said, making it clear he was speaking in generic terms only.

He did not have specific information about the dogs taken from Vick's home.

Poindexter, who did not return a phone message left by The Associated Press at his office Wednesday, said he is proceeding very carefully with this case. He had another dog fighting case a few years back and lost it because of an illegal search.

Police also found items associated with dog fighting, including treadmills and a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws. Poindexter has said they also found a bloodied carpet and blood splatters on the floor in a room over the garage.

Vick agreed to a sale price with a buyer on the first day he put the house up for sale, but it is unclear if the sale has been finalized.

Vick, a native of Newport News who starred at Virginia Tech, is a registered dog breeder. He said he let a cousin, Davon Boddie, live at the house, and that he didn't know a large kennel on the property could be involved in criminal activity.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press