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Vick charged with torturing, killing dogs in Virginia indictment

  • Story Highlights
  • Virginia charges could bring 10-year prison term for Michael Vick
  • County prosecutor says federal charges didn't address state crimes
  • Vick's federal co-defendants also face state charges
  • Vick already faces up to 18 months in prison after federal plea deal
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SUSSEX, Virginia (CNN) -- A Virginia grand jury has indicted suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and three co-defendants on state charges of running a dogfighting ring at Vick's Virginia home, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick faces sentencing on federal charges in December.

The Surry County grand jury brought two charges against Vick: 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.

Vick, 27, faces a possible prison term of 12 to 18 months after his August guilty plea to a federal conspiracy charge of bankrolling a dogfighting operation from his home outside Newport News, Virginia. He faces sentencing on December 10 in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia.

Vick's lawyers said they will "aggressively" work to make sure "that he is not held accountable for the same conduct twice."

"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 in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Virginia," his lead attorney, Billy Martin, said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.

Vick pleaded guilty after three associates -- Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta, Georgia; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Virginia -- admitted their roles in the operation and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Read about the federal case against Vick »

Tuesday's grand jury session resulted in charges of promoting dogfighting against all three. In addition, Taylor faces three additional counts of unlawful torture and killing of dogs, and Peace, like Vick, faces one count.

All four are scheduled to be arraigned October 3 and face a tentative trial date of November 27. See a timeline of the case against Vick »

Earlier, Surry County Commonwealth Attorney Gerald Poindexter said he planned to present more than 10 possible charges against Vick and his co-defendants to the grand jury.

The grand jury refused to bring eight additional counts of animal cruelty against the defendants.

"I'm sure that the grand jury took careful consideration, and they made a decision we can live with," he said.

Poindexter said he pursued the case because "crimes that were not prosecuted were committed in Surry County." But he would not say whether his prosecutors put Vick's federal court admission that he killed dogs before the grand jury.


"Come on, lady, how much do you need to know?" he told a reporter who was pressing the issue.

The grand jury met at the Sussex County courthouse because the Surry County courthouse is undergoing renovations. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Eric Fiegel contributed to this report.

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