This is just the beginning of the end.Vick co-defendant pleads guilty
By LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- One of Michael Vick's co-defendants pleaded guilty Monday to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Tony Taylor, 34, who will be sentenced Dec. 14, said he was not promised any specific sentence in return for his cooperation with the government.
Taylor faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but likely will get less under federal sentencing guidelines. The guideline range will be determined by court officials, and U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson can depart from that range if he finds aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
"You're pleading guilty and taking your chances, right?" Hudson asked Taylor.
He responded, "Yes."
Taylor had the same answer when Hudson asked: "You have agreed to cooperate fully with the United States, is that right?"
Taylor, of Hampton, entered his plea to conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
Vick, the star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, and two other co-defendants pleaded not guilty last week to the same charges.
Taylor and his attorney, Stephen A. Hudgins of Newport News, refused to answer reporters' questions as they left the federal courthouse after the 15-minute hearing.
Prosecutors claimed in a July 17 indictment that Taylor found the Surry County property that Vick purchased and used as the site of "Bad Newz Kennels," a dogfighting enterprise. Taylor also allegedly helped purchase pit bulls and killed at least two dogs that fared poorly in test fights.
According to the 18-page 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 grisly details outlined in the indictment have fueled protests and public outrage against Vick. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has banned Vick from the Falcons' training camp while the league investigates.
Vick and Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Quanis L. Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, are scheduled for trial Nov. 26. They remain free without bond.
isnt Taylor the one Vick threw under the bus when this initially got reported - i dont remember the exact quote but something like "I try and do good by my cousins and they do this stuff behind my back?"
Vick was never going to become a top NFL QB despite being the leagues highest player. This allows the Falcons to make a change they would have had to make anyway in a few years and get on to finding the QB of their future
... for trading Matt Schaub.
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."- Mark Twain
I feel for Arthur Blank-- he wants to spend the money to have a big winner but in football money is not part of the success-failure formula because everyone spends the same. In basketball and especially baseball money can by you a title (or at least buy you the ability to compete for a title) but not so in football.
Blank needs to buy the Braves!!
-Jason "in truth, I like many aspects of the football salary cap-- football is a ton fairer than baseball, that's for sure" Evans
I won't be shocked if Joey Harrigton has about as good a season as Schaub. In the cap-crucial NFL, Harrigton also comes at a cheaper salary-- plus the Falcons got a pair of very high-quality picks out of it.
-Jason "with a new coach in Atlanta, it is not like Schaub's history with the franchise means anything anyway" Evans
My vote for Atlanta Falcon's 2007 quarterback: JOHN SMOLTZ
"It was my operation, I let Ookie down. We used Mike's name and money and lied to him. Ookie's only crime is trusting his family members. I apologize to him and his mother for getting him involved in this. I don't know what these other witnesses have been saying to the Feds because Mike was never there, and I intend to testify to that in court to help clear poor Ookie's name."
He goes on to cop to a number of the things they say Vick did, and he takes the years with Vick returning to play for the Redskins next year.
I would say for a sport to be fair, the widest variety of teams should be able to win the championship. Thus, over time, a sport with the wider variety of teams to win the championship is "fairer."
A bunch of spans, to prove I'm not cherry-picking:
Last 5 years:
4 Different Super Bowl Winners
5 Different World Series Winners
Last 10 years:
7 Different Super Bowl Winners
8 Different World Series Winners
Last 15 years:
10 Different Super Bowl Winners
12 Different World Series Winners
Last 20 years:
13 Different Super Bowl Winners
17 Different World Series Winners
As you can see, in each span, there were more different baseball teams to win than football teams. How is football more fair than baseball?
Once a team makes the post-season, they're on more or less equal footing as far as being able to win a title. Baseball and football are identical in this way - baseball may even be "more fair" in the postseason because of the more limited value of home field advantage. But payroll provides a big leg up to teams in trying to reach the post-season in baseball, where it doesn't provide the same in football (or basketball, for that matter).
Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.
You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner
You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke
Bringing the discussion back to Michael Vick, and noting that what I'm about to say is sensitive around here, but something in me wants to say it anyway, would there be anywhere near as much outrage if he'd just sexually assaulted a woman? And wouldn't we all be calling for due process and let the case take it's course? He'd still be playing, that's for sure. And there wouldn't have been 160,000+ letters of protest.
1) Due Process - Yes, he deserves it but there is one fact that is already proven: Dog fighting and acts of animal cruelty were taking place on his property. That is undisputable. The only thing in question was how much he knew about it.
2) Animals - It may sound crazy to say but it's true. Most people get upset more about the mistreatment of animals than they do humans. I guess because animals are 100 percent innocent. No agendas. Humans can be manipulative, lying, agenda-filled, and so on. But an innocent animal? And we're not talking spanking too hard here. We're talking some really sick stuff. Electrocution, drowning, dismembering, etc.
There's a proven link between people who treat animals in that way and how they later in life turn out to be sick nutbags (don't know the official term here) that often end up doing the same things to humans.
This crime is just sick.
besides, with revenue sharing now, the only thing holding many teams back from spending is the greed of the owners.
If you or I are arrested for a crime our liberty can not be taken away from us without due process and a trial where we are presuemd "innocent until proven guilty". However, if our presence at work is a disruption, or our performance and focus at work are compromised, or we have dramatically hurt the image of our employer then we will probably be let go.
1) Hell freezes over, Satan admits he was wrong and that he's kind of a jerk
2) Barry Bonds quits one home run shy of Aaron and holds media "Hugfest"
3) Nifong wins Mr. Integrity of Universe Pageant
4) State of Californina suddenly turns to glass and develops a heart and lungs
5) Duke and UNC fall so much in love with each other, an official end to the rivalry is announced
6) Water in Niagra Falls turns to salt water, then to vinegar, with the bed of the falls turning into a "sea of potatoes," resulting in a salt & vinegar potato chip Wonderland!
7) EarlJam gets a promotion
Vick is looking at losing tens of millions of dollars and perhaps losing his entire career. The other folks connected to this are people who beneift greatly if Mike is still a rich guy who can provide them with the benefits of his fame-- as he has been doing for about a decade. Is there any doubt that his cousin/friends would do a little extra time in jail to get Mike off? If you were Mike, wouldn't you tell these guys "someone has to take the fall for me. Whoever does it will get a million dollars."
Plus, it is not like we are talking about someone completely innocent going to jail for 10 years to keep Mike out. Federal sentencing guidelines on these crimes call for a pretty modest sentence (less than a year if they are first -time offenders). Doing a year or so in jail may seem like a very good trade to these guys if it keeps Mike out of jail and allows him to keep his multi-million dollar career.
-Jason "to me, this is a no brainer for Mike and for his friends" Evans
I was actually thinking about that too. "Hey, one guy takes the fall, you'll be compensated when you get out. All will be fine."
Then I got to thinking. The Feds have so much stuff on Vick already. Seems to me like the Feds know what they're doing with this co-defendent, and that they wouldn't even be bothering with him if it wasn't a "help US (Feds) out or else" deal.
Maybe I'm wrong, but if this guy were to say something like mentioned above, to take the fall for Vick, I just don't think it would be that simple. The Feds know what they're doing here, and I think they know this guy is going to nail him.
What a mess.
Leslie SatcherSometimes I feel like Jesse James,
Still trying to make a name.
Knowing nothings gonna change what I am.
I was a young troubadour,
when I rode in on a song.
and I'll be an old troubadour,
when I'm gone.