Quarterback Michael Vick surrendered to U.S. marshals and will stay in jail until his sentencing on a dogfighting charge in three weeks.
The three-time National Football League Pro Bowl quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 but turned himself in because he anticipates a prison term on the federal dogfighting conspiracy charge, according to a court document. Vick could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
"From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions, and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance," Billy Martin, one of Vick's lawyers, 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 is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw until his sentencing, U.S. marshals told The Associated Press. The mixed-gender facility houses about 450 inmates.
Ronald Bacigal, a University of Richmond law professor who specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure, said there are no real direct legal benefits to Vick's decision to turn himself in before sentencing.
"I don't think there's any benefits except getting (the sentence) started," Bacigal said. "I would think he's purely thinking about timing as far as when he can get back to his football."