As part of a plea agreement, Tony Taylor pledged to fully
cooperate with the government in its prosecution of Vick and two
other men accused of running an interstate dogfighting enterprise
known as "Bad Newz Kennels" on Vick's property in rural Surry
"The 'Bad Newz Kennels' operation and gambling monies were
almost exclusively funded by Vick," a summary of facts supporting
the plea agreement and signed by Taylor states.
The plea deal requires Taylor to testify against Vick and his
two remaining co-defendants if called upon to do so. Taylor cannot
get a stiffer sentence or face any new charges based on any new
information he provides, according to terms of the agreement.
Additional charges are possible, however, against Vick and the
other two. Federal prosecutors have said a superseding indictment
will be issued in August.
Vick's lead attorney, Billy Martin, did not immediately return a
But in an interview aired Monday, Vick told Porsche Foxx on Atlanta
radio station WVEE-FM, "I know I've put the city through a lot. My
owner, Arthur Blank, who I love sincerely, I've put him through a
lot. And you know it's hurt me to put him through these situations
to have to deal with that because he shouldn't have to."
Vick thanked those who have continued supporting him and added,
"It's a crisis situation for me, but I'm gonna get through it."
Taylor, 34, of Hampton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to travel
in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities, and
conspiring to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.
Vick pleaded not guilty to the same charges last week and said
in a written statement that he looked forward to "clearing my good
name." He also pleaded with the public to resist a rush to
The gruesome details outlined in the July 17 indictment have
fueled public protests against Vick and prompted the suspension of
some of his lucrative endorsement deals. Also, NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell has barred Vick from the Falcons' training camp.
The summary of facts signed by Taylor supports the indictment's
claims that the dogfighting ring executed underperforming dogs by
drowning, hanging and other brutal means. Taylor admitted shooting
one dog and electrocuting another when they did not perform well in
test fights in the summer of 2002.
Vick, 27, attended several dogfights in Virginia and other
states with his partners, according to the statement. Prosecutors
claim the fights offered purses as high as $26,000.
Taylor, who will be sentenced Dec. 14, said he was not promised
any specific sentence in return for his cooperation with the
He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine,
although federal sentencing guidelines likely will call for less.
The range will be determined by the court's probation office, but
the judge can depart from that range if he finds aggravating or
Taylor and his attorney, Stephen A. Hudgins of Newport News,
declined to answer reporters' questions as they left the federal
courthouse. Prosecutors also would not comment.
During the hearing, Taylor spoke only in response to routine
yes-or-no questions from U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. He
answered "Yes" when the judge asked if he had agreed to cooperate
with the government.
Taylor acknowledged in the summary of facts that he found the
property that Vick purchased in 2001 for $30,000 for development
into a dogfighting compound. Taylor says he maintained and trained
the dogs for about three years, using his share of winnings -- which
were split among the partners -- for living expenses.
He left the operation after a falling out with co-defendant
Quanis L. Phillips and others in September 2004, according to the
statement of facts.
Vick and Purnell A. Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, and Phillips,
28, of Atlanta, are scheduled for trial Nov. 26. They remain free