Ex-football star Vick sentenced to 23 mnths | world | Hindustan Times
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Ex-football star Vick sentenced to 23 mnths

The US football star has been sentenced for killing of at least eight dogs in an alleged dogfight.

world Updated: Dec 11, 2007 11:29 IST

Disgraced US football star Michael Vick was sentenced on Monday to 23 months in prison for his role in an illegal dogfighting ring in which he had admitted he was involved in the killing of at least eight dogs.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, once one of the best players in the National Football League, pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy in connection with a dogfighting enterprise in rural Virginia known as "Bad Newz Kennels" from 2001 through April 2007.

Vick, 27, stood in the courtroom to hear his sentence wearing black-and-white striped prison garb, a far cry from the usual football jersey or elegant suit worn by the three-time Pro Bowl selection with a 10-year, $130 million contract. He had voluntarily began serving his prison term three weeks ago.

"You are instrumental in promoting, funding, and facilitating this cruel and inhumane sporting activity and I am convinced it was not a momentary lapse in judgment," Hudson told Vick as he explained his decision to sentence him to 23 months. "You were a full partner."

Vick softly said: "I would like to apologise to the court, to my family, to my kids, for what I have done."

"I'm here to say I'm willing to deal with the consequences and accept responsibility for my actions," he added.

In his guilty plea, Vick said he knew dogs that did not perform well were killed and admitted involvement in the killing of at least eight dogs. Prosecutors have said dogs sometimes fought to the death and some underperforming animals were shot, drowned, hanged or electrocuted.

Vick received a tougher-than-expected sentence. Prosecutors had originally asked the judge for 12 to 18 months.