Virginia to pursue Vick charges
Poindexter to send case to grand jury in September
By STEVE WYCHE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/17/07
Michael Vick’s problems didn’t end with his former friends and co-defendants pleading guilty and alleging that he funded a dogfighting ring and helped them execute dogs that failed to show the gameness to fight.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday afternoon that “yes, indeed, we will prosecute” Vick and others on possible animal cruelty and dogfighting charges. Poindexter said he would probably submit his case to a grand jury that is scheduled to convene Sept. 25.
He has not determined which charges he would file but said he would aggressively prosecute based on previously acquired evidence and some of the evidence presented in the federal case. Dogfighting and animal cruelty are felonies in Virginia with animal cruelty charges holding penalties of up to five years in jail for each animal killed.
“The execution of these animals and the manner in which they were executed is startlingly offensive and demanding of prosecution,” Poindexter said.
Statements made in the guilty pleas reached by Phillips and Peace that they accompanied Vick in the execution of eight dogs this April and fought dogs on Vick’s Surry County, Va., property solidified Poindexter’s decision to move forward with prosecution.