Vick Pleads Guilty to Dog Fighting Charges; Takes Plea

Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 20, 2007--

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has decided to take a plea deal on the dogfighting charges that he is facing.

A lawyer for Vick says the NFL star will plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges,

putting the quarterback's career in jeopardy and leaving him subject to a possible prison term.

The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, although federal sentencing guidelines likely would call for less.

Vick was the lone defendant left in the case after three co-defendants all reached plea agreements with the prosecution.

Lead defense attorney Billy Martin said Monday that after consulting with his family over the weekend, Vick asked that he announce that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him in Virginia.

Martin said Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty next week to the charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes.

He said Vick wants to apologize to everyone who has been hurt by the scandal.

Vick is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.

Martin's announcement came as a grand jury that could add new charges met behind closed doors in Richmond.

Prosecutors had said that a superseding indictment was in the works, but Vick's plea likely means he will not face additional charges.

Three of Vick's original co-defendants already have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him if the case went to trial.

Martin says Vick's plea hearing will be next Monday.

A press conference is set for 2pm Monday afternoon.

WSFA 12 Sports and will continue to cover this story as information becomes available.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.