RICHMOND, Va. – Michael Vick got a head start on a possible long prison stretch Monday, surrendering three weeks before he was to be sentenced for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.
The disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback surrendered to U.S. marshals in what his lawyer said was another step in his public repentance.
“From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions, and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance,” 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.”
Vick pleaded guilty in August to a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge after his three co-defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with authorities.
He’s scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 on a federal dogfighting conspiracy charge but worked out a deal “to voluntarily enter custody prior to his sentencing hearing,” according to a court document.
The federal sentencing guideline range is projected at a year to 18 months, but Vick, who has admitted bankrolling the Bad Newz Kennels, could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
In an e-mail to the Associated Press, the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed Vick’s surrender but declined further comment.
Whether the unexpected move will lighten Vick’s sentence is unclear, said Ronald Bacigal, a University of Richmond law professor who specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.