Vick's co-defendents to take plea

RICHMOND, Va. -- Michael Vick's remaining two co-defendants in a federal dogfighting case on Monday scheduled hearings to enter plea agreements.

Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips will appear in federal court in Richmond on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

Another of Vick's original co-defendants, Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty July 30 to his role in a dogfighting conspiracy he says was financed almost entirely by the Atlanta Falcons quarterback.

As part of a plea agreement, Taylor pledged to fully cooperate with the government in its prosecution of Vick, Peace and Phillips, who are accused of running an interstate dogfighting enterprise known as "Bad Newz Kennels" on Vick's property in rural Surry County.

Calls to Peace's and Phillips' attorneys were not immediately returned.

Collins R. Spencer III, a spokesman for Vick's defense team, said the lawyers were surprised by the plea deals.

"They didn't see it coming," Spencer said.

He added, "The only other comment that they want to make is that this won't affect the way they proceed with the case. We're moving forward with taking the case to trial on Nov. 26." He also said they assume the two agreed to cooperate with the government.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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