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November 30, 2007

Bad news for Vick in the other Bad Newz sentencings

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this early report on the federal sentences given today to Michael Vick's codefendants. The headline reads, "Vick cohorts' terms longer than recommended: Sentences could be an indication of what's in store for QB," and here are excerpts:

Two of Michael Vick's co-defendants received tough sentences Friday as the federal judge overseeing the dogfighting case handed down prison terms longer than those recommended by federal prosecutors. Purnell Peace was sentenced to 18 months in prison, the highest end of his sentencing guideline range. Quanis Phillips, a friend of Vick's since middle school, was sentenced to 21 months, the middle range of his guideline.

United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson called what happened to the dogs "a tragedy." "You may have thought this was sporting, but it was very callous and cruel," Hudson told Phillips. Hudson did not go along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Gill's recommendations that he sentence Peace and Phillips to the low end of the sentencing guideline range....

Vick, the suspended Falcons quarterback, reported to prison last week ahead of his sentencing hearing. The sentences of Peace and Phillips may be an indication of what Vick will receive at his Dec. 10 hearing. A fourth co-defendant, Tony Taylor, will be sentenced on Dec. 14. All four pleaded guilty in August for their roles in a dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels at property Vick owned in Surry County, Va. The plea agreements reached by all four co-defendants, and subsequent motions, call for a sentences of 12 to 18 months under the federal sentencing guidelines for Vick and Peace.  Phillips' guideline range was 18-24 months because of prior criminal convictions.

Though I suppose Vick and his legal team should be glad to hear that Judge Hudson stayed within the suggested guideline ranges, the fact that Judge Hudson went higher than prosecutors recommended should keep Vick from making too many plans for 2008.  Of course, Vick's legal team can suggest unique factors in the hope of softening Judge Hudson's view of what prison term is "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" for Vick.  But I think the betting line over/under on Vick's likely sentence has to go up a bit after today's sentences.

Some related Vick posts:

November 30, 2007 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

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