|Virginia county moving ahead with state dogfighting charges against Vick, 3 co-defendants|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 11:43|
Vick, already scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 on a federal dogfighting charge, is not expected to attend the Circuit Court hearing, prosecutor Gerald G. Poindexter said.
Wednesday's hearing is to determine whether Vick and three co-defendants have secured legal counsel or need the court to provide lawyers.
``It's just going to be a routine day,'' Poindexter said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Trial dates for Vick and the others on the state charges will be set Nov. 27, he said.
Vick was indicted last week in the rural county where he built a massive home on 15 acres that had been home to a dogfighting enterprise since 2001. He's charged with beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and engaging in or promoting dogfighting. Each felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Lawyers for Vick have indicated they will fight the state charges on the grounds that he can't be convicted twice of the same crime. In pleading guilty to the federal charge on Aug. 27, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight dogs, among other things. He faces up to five years in prison. Co-defendants Tony Taylor, Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips also pleaded guilty to the same federal charge.
On Tuesday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Vick completed an eight-hour class in empathy and animal protection Sept. 18 at the group's Norfolk headquarters. The organization said Vick took the course during his second visit to their headquarters and returned a third time to take a written test.
PETA did not reveal his score on the test, which spokesman Dan Shannon said includes an essay and long-answer questions.
Vick, suspended indefinitely by the NFL without pay, did himself no favors last month when he tested positive for marijuana, a violation of U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson's order that he stay clean in exchange for being allowed to be free.
After that positive test, Hudson ordered Vick confined to his home address between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with electronic monitoring and random drug testing.