Well, it happened today. INDICTED in big bold letters. Michael Vick will now have to turn himself into authorities and face the music. I guess the grand jury didnâ€™t buy his lame excuse that he didnâ€™t live in the house where all of the alleged dog fighting took place.
I caught a lot of heat from Vick fans for my BrooWaha article, â€œMessage to Michael Vick: Dog Fighting is Dog----!â€ I also got a lot of views. Itâ€™s a very hot topic right now, and with Vickâ€™s indictment, itâ€™s going to get even hotter.
On July 7th, ESPN.com reported that is was very unlikely that Vick would get indicted on this case. Well, guess what? Even the big boys get it wrong sometimes.
I will never convict a person until the evidence is presented and until that individual is tried in a court of law. But, a grand jury isnâ€™t going to go to all the trouble of indicting someone -- especially someone as high
profile as Michael Vick â€“ without some sort of hard evidence. All I can say to Mike is good luck!
This appeared today on www.msn.com:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) â€” Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to illegal dog fighting.
Vick and three others were charged with violating federal laws against competitive dog fighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines.
The indictment alleges that Vick and his co-defendants began sponsoring dog fighting in early 2001, the former Virginia Tech star's rookie year with the Falcons.
It accuses Vick, Purnell A. Peace, Quanis L. Phillips and Tony Taylor of "knowingly sponsoring and exhibiting an animal fighting venture," of conducting a business enterprise involving gambling, as well as buying, transporting and receiving dogs for the purposes of an animal fighting venture.
Telephone messages left at the offices and home of Vick's attorney, Larry Woodward, were not immediately returned.
A woman who answered the phone at the home of Vick's mother said the family knew nothing about the charges.
On July 7, federal authorities conducted a second search of the Surry, Va., property owned by Vick that is the center of the dog fighting investigation.
According to court documents filed by federal authorities earlier this month, dogfights have been sponsored by "Bad Newz Kennels" at the property since at least 2002. For the events, participants and dogs traveled from South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Texas and other states.
Fifty-four pit bulls were recovered from the property during searches in April, along with a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified for dogs; and a bloodied piece of carpeting, the documents said.
During a June search of the property, investigators uncovered the graves of seven pit bulls that were killed by members of "Bad Newz Kennels" following sessions to test whether the dogs would be good fighters, the documents alleged.
Members of "Bad Newz Kennels" also sponsored and exhibited fights in other parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and other states, according to the filings.
On Vick's website, he lists his birthplace as Newport News, "a.k.a. BadNews."
The documents said the fights usually occurred late at night or in the early morning and would last several hours.
Before fights, participating dogs of the same sex would be weighed and bathed, according to the filings. Opposing dogs would be washed to remove any poison or narcotic placed on the dog's coat that could affect the other dog's performance.
Sometimes, dogs weren't fed to "make it more hungry for the other dog."
Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot, electrocution or some other method, according to the documents.
Vick initially said he had no idea the property might have been used in a criminal enterprise and blamed family members for taking advantage of his generosity.
Vick has since declined to talk about the investigation.
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
Grand Jury Throws Michael Vick to the Dogs
Copyright © 2010 Ed Attanasio
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