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 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Federal prisoner Michael Vick waited in jail Tuesday to learn when he will again answer to dogfighting charges - this time in state court.
The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback was not expected to attend a hearing in Surry County Circuit Court to schedule his trial on two felony dogfighting counts. Vick is being held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., after unexpectedly turning himself in Nov. 19 to begin serving time for a federal dogfighting conspiracy conviction.
Vick faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 10 in the federal case.
The two state charges - beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs, and engaging in or promoting dogfighting - also are punishable by up to five years in prison each.
Vick's lawyers have indicated they will fight the state charges on the grounds he can't be convicted twice of the same crime.
Vick and three co-defendants, who also face state charges, pleaded guilty to the federal charge in U.S. District Court in Richmond. In an Aug. 27 plea agreement, Vick admitted bankrolling a dogfighting enterprise and providing gambling money, as well as helping to kill six to eight dogs.
The dogfighting operation known as Bad Newz Kennels operated since 2001 on Vick's 15-acre spread in Surry County. A drug investigation of a Vick relative led authorities to the property, where they found more than 50 pit bulls and equipment commonly used in dogfighting.
Vick was suspended indefinitely by the NFL without pay, and he lost several lucrative endorsement deals. Also, an arbitrator has ruled Vick should repay the Falcons nearly $20 million in bonus money.
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