26 Nov 2008

Vick pleads guilty to charge

6:23 am on 26 November 2008

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to a state dogfighting charge, a move that could make him eligible to leave prison early and potentially speed up a return to pro football.

The former Atlanta Falcons star also pleaded not guilty to a count of cruelty to animals, but that count was dropped under his plea deal.

Vick already is serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation at a home he owned.

He also admitted to participating in the killing of several underperforming dogs.

He's scheduled for release in July next year and will serve three years of probation.

The latest plea is important because it resolves the remaining charges against him, which is required under federal law if he is to move into a halfway house.