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Vick surrenders early to begin dogfighting sentence

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  • NEW: Vick's attorney says early surrender shows Vick accepts responsibility
  • Sentencing set for December 10 on dogfighting charges against Michael Vick
  • Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty in August
  • Monday, he surrendered to begin whatever sentence he gets on December 10
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(CNN) -- Michael Vick turned himself in to authorities on Monday to get a head start on serving his sentence for running a dogfighting ring, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Michael Vick leaves court in Richmond, Virginia, in August after pleading guilty to dogfighting charges.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is scheduled to be sentenced on December 10 on a federal conspiracy charge of bankrolling the dogfighting operation. See a timeline of the case »

Vick, 27, voluntarily turned himself in around noon, said Kevin Trevillan of the Marshals Service, and is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, until the sentencing hearing.

The quarterback, who has been suspended indefinitely by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, faces 12 to 18 months in prison on the charge.

Vick pleaded guilty in August after three associates admitted their own roles in the operation and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

"From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance," Vick's attorney, Billy Martin, said in a statement.

"Michael wants to again apologize to everyone who has been hurt in this matter and he thanks all of the people who have offered him and his family prayers and support during this time," Martin's statement said.

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CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin speculated that Vick started his sentence early "to get it out of the way."Video Watch Toobin explain why Vick would surrender early »

On September 25, a Virginia grand jury indicted Vick and the three co-defendants -- Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia -- on state charges of running a dogfighting ring at Vick's home outside Newport News.

The Surry County grand jury brought two charges against the four men: one count of unlawfully torturing and killing dogs and one of promoting dogfights. Each is a felony charge that could result in a five-year prison term.

In addition, Taylor faces three additional counts of unlawful torture and killing of dogs.

A hearing in that case is set for November 27, but Vick does not have to be in court at that time.

In September, Vick was put under tight restrictions by the federal court after he tested positive for marijuana use.

Vick tested positive for the drug on September 13, a court document from the Eastern District of Virginia shows.

As a result, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ordered Vick to "submit to any method of testing required by the pretrial services officer or the supervising officer for determining whether the defendant is using a prohibited substance."

Those methods could include random drug testing, a remote alcohol testing system "and/or any form of prohibited substance screening or testing," the order said.


Vick was also ordered to stay home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., "or as directed by the pretrial services officer or supervising officer," the order said. He was to be electronically monitored during that time.

Vick must participate in substance abuse therapy and mental health counseling "if deemed advisable by the pretrial services officer or supervising officer" at his own expense, the order said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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