Re: Vick indicted
POINDEXTER GETTING IN ON THE ACT?
As we suggested on Wednesday, the federal conspiracy charges against Mike Vick could be the tip of the legal iceberg into which his NFL career (and liberty) have rammed.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Surry County, Virginia prosecutor Gerald Poindexter has now said that Vick will "more than likely" be prosecuted by local officials.
"[W]e're very moved by the idea of animals being executed,” Poindexter said, which is a refernce to allegations in the federal indictment that Vick was involved in the killing of canines as recently as April 2007.
Meanwhile, there are some unfortunate racial tensions emerging in Surry County. John Seward, the chairman of the Surry County Board of Supervisors, told the Virginia-Pilot that he and "the few people I have talked with" believe Vick will never face charges in Surry County. Seward claims that Poindexter, who is African-American, has been reluctant in the past to prosecute black suspects.
"I don't know where Mr. Seward is coming from, and I am very disappointed in his remarks," Poindexter said.
Frankly, we believe that Poindexter had been dragging his feet because he knew that prosecuting Vick would require this 60-something part-time prosecutor to devote most if not all of his professional time and attention over a one-year period (or longer) to one case and one case only. And with an O.J.-style dream team descending on town and flooding Poindexter with motions and letters and faxes and e-mails, it would have been a very unpleasant experience for a lawyer who otherwise is at or approaching retirement age.
Now that Vick's resources will be consumed by the federal prosecution, Poindexter might think that a local prosecution will be easier to engineer and execute.
As a result, Vick could be indicted as soon as next week by a Surry County grand jury on charges of dog fighting and animal cruelty. To do so, however, Poindexter will need access to much of the federal evidence, since Poindexter refused to execute on a search warrant that would have unearthed the dead dogs, and thereafter seemingly pulled the plug on his investigation after the feds were on the case.
But if/when Poindexter asks the feds to cooperate, the answer he might get is "hell no." Poindexter has a bad habit of running his mouth to the press, as evidenced by the fact that he felt compelled to proclaim on Wednesday that Vick is "more than likely" to face charges in Surry County. If Poindexter gets access to the evidence, he can significantly undermine the federal prosecution by leaking some of it to the press.
Then again, the feds surely would like to see Vick prosecuted for cruelty to animals under Virginia law, if (as we can assume based on the plain language of the indictment) the feds believe that Vick participated in the killing of dogs deemed not "game" enough to fight. The feds have no jurisdiction over such matters, and Vick could be facing at least eight counts that carry a potential sentence of one to five years each.
Still, the feds might choose to freeze Poindexter out until after the conspiracy charges are resolved, forcing Poindexter to monitor the federal prosecution (and attend the trial) in order to evaluate the evidence that is available regarding the dead dogs, and how it is that they came to be in that condition.