The following is the chronological timeline of the case against Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for his role in a federal dogfighting operation:
Early 2001 – Vick, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor agreed to begin a venture to sponsored pit bull terriers in dogfighting competitions. Purnell Peace then joined the group later, according to the summary of events accompanying Vick’s plea.
May 2001 – Taylor identified the properly of 1915 Moonlight Road in Smithfield, Virginia as a suitable venue. Vick completed purchase of the property for $34,000 in late June.
2001-02 – The group began to acquire pit bulls for use in fights.
2002 – Numerous dogs who had tested poorly were killed by Peace, Phillips and Taylor. Vick’s plea states that he did not kill any dogs at this time.
Spring 2003 – Female pitbull named Jane belonging to ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ fights another dog in North Carolina. Jane was sponsored by Peace, Phillips, Taylor and Vick, who collected the winnings from the fight.
Also in the spring of 2003 – ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ hosts fight at Moonlight Road with another dog travelling from South Carolina to fight male pit bull named Bad Boy. Vick and his three co-defendants again collected the winnings.
Late 2003 – Vick and his co-defendants travel to South Carolina with Big Boy for a fight against an unknown dog. The group again collected the winnings.
Early 2004 – Peace and Taylor travel from Virginia to North Carolina with male pit bull Magic for another fight. Vick and Phillips traveled separately to the fight. The four men collected the purse when Magic won the fight. Another fight, in either 2003 or 2004, was hosted at Moonlight Road with Tiny, a male pit bull owned by ‘Bad Newz Kennels’ winning the purse for Vick and his co-defendants. A group also travels from Maryland with a male pit bull to participate in a fight against Too Short, a male pit bull belonging to ‘Bad Newz Kennels’. Vick and his co-defendants collected the purse when Too Short won the fight.
2004-07 – Further fights took place involving dogs from ‘Bad Newz Kennels. Opponents traveled from New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland.
April 2007 – Peace, Phillips and Vick tested several dogs from the ‘Bad Newz Kennels’. They agreed to the killing of 6-8 dogs who performed poorly. The dogs were killed by various methods, including hanging and drowning as a result of the collective efforts of Peace, Phillips and Vick, according to Vick’s summary of events.
April 24, 2007 – Vick’s cousin, Davon Boddie arrested on drug charges and listed 1915 Moonlight Road as his address.
April 25, 2007 – Police serve warrant to search the property on Moonlight Road. Police and animal control officers find 66 dogs and a training complex at the property.
June 7, 2007 – A further search of Moonlight Road is undertaken by officers from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Richmond, Virginia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Virginia State Police.
July 2, 2007 – Federal authorities file court documents alleging a dogfighting venture had operated at the property for the previous five years.
July 6, 2007 – Federal authorities undertake another search of Moonlight Road.
July 17, 2007 – Peace, Phillips, Taylor and Vick are indicted by a federal grand jury on dogfighting charges. An 18-page indictment accused Vick of breeding and training dogs, hosting fights, and killing dogs not judged to be capable of fighting. A day later, arraignment is set for July 26, the same day as the Falcons opened training camp.
July 20, 2007 – The NFL Players’ Association and the Atlanta Falcons urge Vick to take paid leave for 2007.
July 23, 2007 – Vick ordered not to attend training camp by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
July 24, 2007 – Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who gave Vick a 10-year, $130 million contract in 2005, described the charges against Vick as horrific in a news conference.
July 26, 2007 – Vick pleads not guilty in federal court in Richmond, with a trial date set for November 26.
July 30, 2007 – Taylor pleads guilty, and agrees to cooperate by testifying against his co-defendants.
August 17, 2007 – Peace and Phillips plead guilty, and sign documents saying they traveled with Vick to dogfights, as well as detailing how Vick participated in the killing of several dogs that did not perform well in testing sessions.
August 20, 2007 – Vick’s lawyer Billy Martin announces that Vick will plead guilty to dogfighting charges.
August 23, 2007 – Vick signs plea agreement. An accompanying summary of facts details Vick’s involvement in dogfighting operation and his role in killing pit bulls. Goodell responds by suspending Vick indefinitely without pay from the NFL.
August 24, 2007 – Reports state that the Falcons will seek to recover $22 million paid to Vick in bonuses under the terms of his contract.
August 27, 2007 – Vick appears in U.S. District court in Richmond to formally enter his guilty plea.
September 25, 2007 – Vick is indicted on state charges of involvement in an illegal dogfighting operation.
September 26, 2007 – Reports state that Vick has tested positive for marijuana, causing authorities to request harsher pretrial release conditions. Meanwhile, a Canadian bank files a lawsuit stating that Vick has defaulted on a $2.5 million loan.
October 5, 2007 – PETA reveals Vick has attended classes on treatment of animals.
October 7, 2007 – Arbitrator rules that the Falcons can seek reimbursement of $22 million in bonus payments, made to Vick under the terms of his 10-year, $130 million contract.
October 19, 2007 – Vick puts the Surry County property up for sale, seeking $4.5 million as speculation grows about his financial situation.
November 19, 2007 – Vick surrenders to U.S. Marshals to begin serving time toward his sentence.
November 27, 2007 – Vick’s state trial date is set for April 2, 2008.
November 28, 2007 – Vick agrees to pay almost $1 million into an escrow fund to cover the cost of care for the dogs found on his property.
November 30, 2007 – Purnell Peace is setenced to 18 months and Quanis Phillips gets 21 months for their role in the dogfighting operation.
December 10, 2007 – Vick sentenced to 23 months in prison.