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Plea hearing for co-defendant of Vick set for Monday

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by 03EBZ06, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. 03EBZ06

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    Plea hearing for co-defendant of Vick set for Monday

    Updated: July 27, 2007, 9:06 PM ET



    RICHMOND, Va. -- One of Michael Vick's co-defendants doesn't want to wait for trial.

    Instead, a plea agreement hearing has been scheduled for Tony Taylor at 9 a.m. Monday in the federal dogfighting conspiracy case.

    Taylor's hearing was added to U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson's docket Friday, a day after he and the other three defendants pleaded not guilty before the same judge. Vick and the others still are scheduled for trial Nov. 26.

    Prosecutors claim Taylor, 34, found the Surry County property purchased by Vick and used it as the site of "Bad Newz Kennels," a dogfighting enterprise. The Hampton man also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.

    Taylor's lawyer, Stephen Ashton Hudgins of Newport News, did not immediately return a phone message, and federal prosecutors have declined to talk about the case.

    An 18-page indictment issued July 17 charged the four men with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture. The maximum punishment is five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

    According to the indictment, the dogfighting ring executed underperforming dogs by drowning, hanging and other brutal means. It alleges that the fights offered purses as high as $26,000.

    The gruesome details outlined in the indictment have fueled protests and public outrage against Vick, the star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has banned Vick from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates.

    Charged along with Vick and Taylor are Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta.

    All four remain free without bond. When U.S. Magistrate Dennis Dohnal set the conditions for their release Thursday, he commended Taylor for admitting to using illegal drugs despite never being convicted of a drug offense. He ordered periodic drug testing for Taylor.

    Peace and Phillips each have drug convictions and were ordered to submit to testing, as well as an electronic monitoring program. Taylor was spared the electronic monitoring.

    Neither drug testing nor monitoring were ordered for Vick.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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