Michael Vick Wrestles The Fifth Amendment, Not Houston Texans Defensive Schemes

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The WSJ Law Blog reports that Michael Vick should be studying the Houston Texans defensive schemes in preparation for Sunday’s game. Instead, the suspended Atlanta Falcons QB and his lawyers are having to wrestle with the Fifth Amendment and the “Dual Sovereignty” doctrine.

That’s because a local grand jury in Virginia indicted Vick and three others today on state charges of running a dogfighting ring at Vick’s Virginia home, local prosecutors said Tuesday. The grand jury brought two charges against Vick: one count of unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights.

Huh? Didn’t Vick already plead guilty to a federal conspiracy dogfighting-related charge? He did, and he’s expected to be sentenced in December. In his written federal plea agreement, he said he helped kill six to eight pit bulls days before the first raid and also admitted to supplying money for gambling on the fights.

Surry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Poindexter told the media today that he pursued the case because “crimes that were not prosecuted were committed in Surry County.” Poindexter didn’t say whether his prosecutors put Vick’s federal court admission that he killed dogs before the grand jury.

Vick’s attorney Billy Martin issued a statement. “We are disappointed that these charges were filed in Surry County since it is the same conduct covered by the federal indictment for which Mr. Vick has already accepted full responsibility and pleaded guilty to,” he said. “Mr. Vick’s legal team will examine these state charges and will aggressively protect his rights to ensure that he is not held accountable for the same conduct twice.”

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