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July 29, 2007

A co-defendant running to the prosecutor faster than Michael Vick

This AP article and this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article details that one of Michael Vick's co-defendant appears poised to plead guilty to the dog fighting charges that have derailed the NFL star's football career.  Here are a few details from the AJC piece:

One of the men facing federal dogfighting charges along with Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is discussing a plea deal with federal prosecutors, which could spell bad news for Vick.  Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va., has a plea agreement hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in the U.S. District Court in Richmond before Judge Henry E. Hudson....

The plea hearing could mean that Taylor, who pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday, has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.... "This could be very bad news for Vick," said Steven D. Benjamin, a veteran criminal defense attorney from Richmond who has represented many clients before Hudson. "If he is pleading guilty, he is cooperating with the government."

Taylor could get a lighter sentence through a plea deal. "Whoever is the first in line gets the best deal," said Michael Morchower, a former federal prosecutor and now a Richmond criminal defense attorney who has also represented defendants before Hudson. "That's the problem with co-defendants.  They are going to want to save themselves. And the government wants cooperation.  And the person who cooperates first gets the biggest reward."

Covering similar ground is this Virginian-Pilot article, headlined "Co-defendant's plea deal a bad sign for Vick, experts say."

Some related Vick posts:

July 29, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink


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Snitch justice in a nutshell: "Whoever is the first in line gets the best deal."

Speaking of snitching and dealcutting, Doc if you didn't see Sasha Natapoff's testimony to Congress on informants last week, I think you'd be interested. (She's a former federal PD and a Loyola CA law prof). I blogged the links here:


One more Michael Vick observation: Jamie Spencer at the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer was right on that this proves the Duke Lacrosse effect is over. Vick's been convicted in the court of public opinion and harmed professionally no matter what happens in court. After all the Mike Nifong foolishness, apparently, we've learned nothing. I like dogs, too, but come on! Hegel knew what he was talking about when he remarked that history teaches us that man learns nothing from history.


Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jul 29, 2007 11:16:07 AM

Apparently Vick and Mr Taylor have some history, as I hear it they had a falling out a couple of years ago that led to Vick asking Mr Talor to leave the house where the dog fighting was alleged to have occurred. I think this may turn out to be a positive for Vick, a witness with a grudge, a dirty witness for that matter. I bet dollars to doughnuts that Vick's attorney destroys this mans credibility to the point that he becomes more harm than good to the Gov't case.

One more item, When did the Feds become interested in Dog Fighting? I would think this would be more of a State case, even if dogs were being transported state to state.

Posted by: student | Jul 29, 2007 12:45:29 PM

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