State Charges Against Vick Might Not Come Until After Federal Sentencing in December

A Virginia prosecutor reportedly plans to pursue dogfighting charges against suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick but might not do so until after Vick is sentenced by a federal judge.

Gerald Poindexter, the commonwealth attorney for Surry County, Va., told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it's possible that he might present evidence to a grand jury next week. But Poindexter told the newspaper it's more likely that he'll wait until he has access to the evidence against Vick and three co-defendants gathered by federal authorities and that might not happen until after Vick is sentenced, which is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Poindexter told the newspaper, "There will be state prosecution."

Vick pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to dogfighting and is facing a recommended 12 to 18 months in prison. However, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson could sentence him to up to five years in jail. Co-defendants Purnell Peace, Tony Taylor and Quanis Phillips also pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges.

The federal conspiracy case against Vick and his co-defendants does not preclude state charges for the underlying crimes related to dogfighting.

Vick is on indefinite suspension by the NFL and the Falcons are attempting to recoup as much as $22 million of the $37 million in bonus money in his 10-year, $130 million contract. A hearing in that case is scheduled for Oct. 4.

By Mark Maske |  September 21, 2007; 11:39 AM ET  | Category:  Falcons , League
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