More Charges for Vick?
Looks like Michael Vick will face additional charges as the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter says that he will be submitting his case to a grand jury on Sept. 25th.
He has not determined which charges he would file but said he would aggressively prosecute based on previously acquired evidence and some of the evidence presented in the federal case. Dogfighting and animal cruelty are felonies in Virginia with animal cruelty charges holding penalties of up to five years in jail for each animal killed.
“The execution of these animals — and the manner in which they were executed — is startlingly offensive and demanding of prosecution,” Poindexter said.
Statements made in the guilty pleas reached by Phillips and Peace that they accompanied Vick in the execution of eight dogs this April and fought dogs on Vick’s Surry County, Va., property solidified Poindexter’s decision to move forward with prosecution.
Well, let me see, we know that 8 dogs were killed so it is possible that Vick could be facing upto 40 years in prison. Now I’m not familiar with the law nor am I a lawyer, so that is an upper-bound and depending on what charges are actually broght and how many could radically change that number.
This article brings up an interesting point: one can be banned from the NFL for life if one is either gambling or associated with gambling. Again, I’m not familiar with this rule and if gambling on dog fights would be sufficient to trigger this kind of discipline.
If this article is accurate in the claims by Vick’s co-defendants then Vick might be a bit more worried about what will happen with the NFL than with the prosecutors and judicial system.
Specifically, they say that the Bad Newz Kennels dog fighting ring’s “operation and gambling monies were almost exclusively funded by Vick.”
The animal cruelty angle of the Vick investigation is the reason it has drawn so much public outrage, but it’s the gambling angle that could easily cost Vick his NFL career. The NFL’s rules couldn’t be clearer when it comes to gambling: The contract that Vick and every NFL player signs says that “Associating with gamblers or with gambling activities in a manner tending to bring discredit to the NFL” can lead to a lifetime ban.