Report: Feds offer plea deal starting at 18 months
RICHMOND, Va. -- A grand jury is scheduled to convene Monday in the federal court where Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three co-defendants were indicted on dogfighting charges last month.
There's no indication whether the grand jury will take up further allegations against Vick, although federal prosecutors have said they plan to seek a superseding indictment in the case.
That would mean more charges against Vick, the lone defendant who has not been convicted now that all three of his co-defendants have reached plea deals.
Two sources told CNN on Monday that federal prosecutors have offered a plea deal recommending an 18- to 36-month prison sentence for Vick, but his attorneys are seeking to reduce it to less than a year.
As of Saturday, Vick had not completely ruled out the possibility of proceeding to trial on Nov. 26. A source with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations with prosecutors suggested a plea might not be entered until Tuesday.
"It seems to be a pretty clear indication there will be some sort of plea entered," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Friday.
Prosecutors have declined to comment outside court on negotiations with Vick's attorneys. Collins Spencer III, a spokesman for Vick's defense team, said Sunday there was nothing new to report.
"At a key moment like this in anyone's life, you want as much information as possible, and that's what Michael is trying to get," a person close to the negotiations told ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli. "This is the biggest decision he'll ever face. This isn't like, 'Well, do I pass it or run it?' His [advisors] are trying to provide him with everything they can, every bit of information, so that he can then make the most informed decision possible."
Sources said that, in any plea, Vick would seek to avoid additional charges in Virginia, where Gerald Poindexter, the Commonwealth's attorney for Surry County, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that he intends to pursue charges and to present evidence to the local grand jury when it convenes Sept. 25.The state charges could add a maximum 40 years in potential jail time, if Vick were convicted.
"Not having to deal [with charges in Virginia] is a key," said a source. "It's a big part of [the negotiations]."
In addition, the Vick defense team is attempting to gain some insight into how the NFL and the Falcons will proceed if the six-year veteran pleads guilty. In that regard, they are making little or no headway, at least at the league level.
Vick's last two co-defendants pleaded guilty Friday and said he bankrolled gambling on dogfights at Vick's property in rural Surry County, not far from his hometown of Newport News. One said Vick helped drown or hang dogs that didn't do well.
Quanis Phillips of Atlanta and Purnell Peace of Virginia Beach entered plea agreements and agreed to testify against Vick. Tony Taylor of Hampton struck a similar deal last month.
The gambling allegations alone could trigger a lifetime ban under the NFL's personal conduct policy.
The NFL has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp but has withheld further action while the league conducts its own investigation.
Peace, Phillips and Taylor pleaded guilty to the same charges facing Vick: conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencings are set for November and December.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Len Pasquarelli and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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VICK SENTENCED TO 23 MONTHS
Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison and three years' probation for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy. The suspended Falcons quarterback is looking at a scheduled release of July 2009. Story
Update• GM: Falcons will attempt to trade Vick
• Lawyer: Vick might move to halfway house
• Former Vick estate fails to sell again
• Vick house fails to sell at auction
• Vick files for bankruptcy protection
• Prosecutor: Vick's Virginia trial can wait
• Vick ordered to repay Canadian bank $2.4 million
• Judge denies NFL motion to reverse Vick ruling
• Report: Vick not playing organized football in jail
• Report: Vick passes time with prison-yard football
• Vick's state dogfighting trial to begin June 27
• Munson: Vick yet to enter drug treatment
The sentence• Vick sent to Kansas to serve rest of sentence
• Vick asked judge for leniency before sentencing
• Vick sentenced to 23 months | Document (pdf)
• Poll: What do you think? | What they're saying
• Clayton: Sentence puts career in jeopardy
• Munson: Tough sentence by displeased judge
• Teammates show support at Falcons game
• Can Vick return to playing in NFL?
• Pasquarelli: No longer top of mind in Atlanta
• Last Vick co-defendant sentenced
• Podcasts : Cossack | Schlereth | Munson/Naqi | Pasquarelli
• Chat wrap: David Cornwell
Post Plea• NFL wants court to reverse Vick bonus ruling
• Victory for Vick: QB can keep $20 million bonus
• Fifth defendant in Vick case receives probation
• Vick's house for sale for $1.1M
• Some Falcons to visit Vick in prison
• PETA unveils new e-card
• Former Virginia estate fails to sell at auction
• Out of Falcons' sight, almost out of mind
• Judge's casework offers look at possible sentence
• Remaining dogs placed with rescue groups
• Source: Feds may push judge to up sentence
• NFLPA argues Vick should not lose roster bonus
• Vick co-defendants get 18, 21 months in prison
• Vick agrees to put up almost $1M for dogs' care
• Vick given April trial date on state charges
• Vick surrenders to begin serving sentence early
• Home at center of Vick dogfighting scandal sold
• Vick fires one of his lawyers in dogfighting case
• Man who sold Vick pit bull pleads guilty
• Man connected to Vick dogfight ring pleads guilty
• Third bank sues Vick, claims he defaulted on loan
• Arbiter: Falcons have right to reclaim bonuses
• PETA: Vick had class on animal cruelty
• Evaluations show 48 of Vick's dogs placeable
• Vick tests positive for marijuana
• Vick supporters turn out for town meeting
• Vick's apology notes fetch $10.2K at auction
Vick's Plea/NFL Suspension• Vick pleads guilty to federal dogfighting charge
• The plea (PDF) | Statement of facts (PDF)
• Vick's statement: Watch it | Read it
• Roger Cossack explains plea deal
• Poll: Vick should be banned
• Va. Tech, Beamer continue to support Vick
• Vick supporters drown out protesters
• NFL suspends Vick indefinitely | Goodell (PDF)
• Chris Mortensen on Vick's suspension
• Vick files plea agreement admitting to dogfighting
Indictment• Marbury's about-face: Vick 'is 100 percent wrong'
• National NAACP: Vick 'not a victim' | Audio
• Atlanta NAACP: Vick should be allowed to return
• Falcons come to terms with 'ex-teammate'
• Vick timeline | What they're saying
• Helyar: Even Atlanta turns against Vick
• Goodell: Vick not overshadowing season
• Vick co-defendant pleads guilty to charges
• Tony Taylor: Summary of Facts | Plea agreement
• Hometown residents stand by Vick
• Falcons had planned to suspend Vick
• Commish tells Vick to avoid camp
• Vick indicted | The indictment (pdf) | Civil arrest warrant (pdf)
Town Hall meeting• Town Hall chat wrap: Chadiha
Previous columns/analysis• Munson: Q&A on Vick reporting to prison early
• Munson: Looking at Judge Hudson
• Vick's high school learning lessons
• Bryant: Confounded by race issue
• Munson: Q&A about local indictment
• Munson: Next focus for Vick is length of sentence
• Schlabach: Vick an afterthought on VT campus
• Chadiha: Vick not running from truth
• Hill: Coverage means bigger issues ignored
• Wojciechowski: Pay attention to the fallen star
• Bryant: Vick's plea deal comes with baggage
• Bryant: In failing Vick, NFLPA fails itself
• Munson: Vick plea means surrender
• Forde: Vick's epic fall
• Pasquarelli: Major blow for Falcons
• Chadiha: Lots of lessons to be learned
• Wojciechowski: Punishment with teeth
• Easterbrook: Little sympathy?
• Clayton: Vick's NFL future might be bleak
• E-Ticket: A history of mistrust
• Chadiha: Vick's bad choices
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