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NANCY GRACE

Vick Reported Seeking Plea Deal

Aired August 14, 2007 - 20:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Tonight, multi-millionaire quarterback Michael Vick now all by himself after all co-defendants in the alleged dog fighting ring scheduled to take plea deals, the ring accused of hanging, shooting, body-slamming and even electrocuting dogs. Reports tonight Vick`s attorneys negotiating a plea on his behalf. Will celebrity impact any role in the plea deal? Instead of marching to the Super Bowl, could Michael Vick be marching to jail?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NFL quarterback Michael Vick may be considering a plea deal for his alleged role in a dog fighting operation. ESPN reports his attorneys spoke to federal prosecutors yesterday about a plea agreement. Vick has until Friday this week to make about his mind about taking a plea deal. This comes as two more co-defendants in the case are expected to enter plea agreements this week, and that clears the way for Purnell Peace and Quanis Phillips to testify against Mike Vick. Last month, another co-defendant, Tony Taylor, pleaded guilty to his role in the dog fighting operation and has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: Also tonight, breaking news. Kevin Federline`s lawyer serving Britney Spears`s camp again. Headline tonight: The parties back in court over custody. Also tonight: Another member of Spears`s inner circle served by Kevin Federline, this time a bodyguard who`s been at the beck and call of Spears for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The subpoenas are flowing in the world of Britney Spears, thanks to ex-husband Kevin Federline. First reports long-time assistant Alli Sims served over the weekend. Now Spears`s bodyguard, Damon Schippen (ph), also on the hook. With reports claiming Federline wants primary physical custody of the kids, onlookers are asking who will be subpoenaed next.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who knows?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think any time you have a case that involves celebrities with minor children, small children, it`s important that the children be protected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are things in there that isn`t anybody else`s business, except for the families. There`s no 1st Amendment interest in having the public reading things about these children. They`re minors, and it`s not any of the public`s business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. First tonight, horrific allegations of torturing dogs. Will Michael Vick cut a deal for his alleged role in a dog fighting ring, and will the quarterback try to use his celebrity to escape potential jail time?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick ready to take a plea deal? And if he does, would he avoid -- he could, of course, avoid a trial, if he does, on charges he was involved in a dog fighting ring, ESPN now quoting sources who say Vick`s attorneys spoke with federal prosecutors today. This following word that two more of Vick`s co- defendants have agreed to accept their own plea deals. We`re expecting those to come by the end of the week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He faces a lot of time. We`re talking a potential six years, $350,000 fine, which for a multi-millionaire may not seem like a lot, but the six years is very likely here. Even with a plea deal, it`s not likely that he can avoid jail time. And that`s going to be his key in any sort of plea. He`s going to try to knock out any type of jail time.

But with these three against him, with the corroborating evidence, it`s very tough for him to go here and it`s not sort of an easy road. He`s going to have to prove that all these people are wrong, that he had nothing to do with this. And if it seems like he had something to do with this, he`s facing some serious jail time, perhaps years in jail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: So the question is, with him now the last man standing, will Michael Vick do any jail time? For the latest, we go out to Sandra Golden. She`s one of the hosts of Sports Radio 790 "The Zone," "Mayhem in the AM," for the latest. Sandra, thanks for being with us. What is going on in this case right now?

SANDRA GOLDEN, SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST, 790 AM, "THE ZONE": Well, Mike, as late as Tuesday evening, Michael Vick`s attorneys were in talks with the prosecutors. There is a deal on the table for Michael Vick. The sticking point is it includes one year of jail time. Michael Vick`s attorneys want that reduced. The two attorneys that met with the two prosecutors in Richmond have told Michael Vick if they can get that reduced under one year, he should take the deal.

BROOKS: I tell you, one year, come on! And you know, he`ll probably not serve a year. He should serve more than one year. He should serve more than six years. But you know, what`s the talk around Flowery Branch, the training site for the Falcons, right now? Are any of the players talking about this at all?

GOLDEN: Absolutely not, Mike. As a matter of fact, Ward Zun (ph), the running back, and really the team leader, came out yesterday, and that was the first quote that we had heard. And he said, Look, none of us really want him to return. And he didn`t mean that mean. They have a job to do. They are -- they have to settle the fact that Mike Vick will not return. When Bobby Petrino (ph), the head coach, was asked yesterday about the latest reports that the two other defendants in the case were going to plea, he said, I had no idea this was even going on. They are knee deep in training camp.

BROOKS: Now, do you think that the fans want Michael Vick back? What`s the talk in Atlanta right now?

GOLDEN: Mike, that`s a good question because you`re on a radio show as much as anybody, and you can see it`s split 50/50, and unfortunately, it is racially divided. Some fans don`t want to ever see him again, and a lot of true Falcon fans that know what an exciting player he is absolutely want him back. So it`s really divided.

BROOKS: But you know, it`s not about race. It`s not about, you know, social issues. This is about dog fighting. And look, the NFL, Roger Goodell, he`s the chairman and CEO of the NFL. That`s the brand. The Atlanta Falcons are a franchise of that brand. Michael Vick is an employee of Arthur Blank, who owns the brand, and it`s all about the bottom line. It has nothing to do with race, has nothing to do with social issues.

Let`s take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick ready to take a plea deal? And if he does, would he avoid -- he could, of course, avoid a trial, if he does, on charges he was involved in a dog fighting ring, ESPN now quoting sources who say Vick`s attorneys spoke with federal prosecutors today. This following word that two more of Vick`s co- defendants have agreed to accept their own plea deals. We`re expecting those to come by the end of the week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things we got to look at is will they go up the criminal food chain? You know, the guys who were below him are turning and pointing the finger at him. One of the things that might be conditional in this plea agreement is does he just need to tell the Mike Vick story? If they want more, I`d imagine he`s got names in his back pocket. Some of them might be hardened criminals. Some of them might be associates who play in any of those leagues, maybe even people in the entertainment world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: That last person we heard was Chris Dimino (ph), he also with Sports Talk 790 "The Zone," talking to today earlier on Headline News.

But what kind of deal is he really going to get? Let`s unleash the lawyers, Susan Moss, family law attorney and child advocate, Richard Herman in Chicago, also a defense attorney, and Ray Giudice in Atlanta, another defense attorney.

OK, Ray. What kind of deal is he going to get?

RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Mike, I would say that if he gets a deal that allows him to do three to five years probation and something between...

BROOKS: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

GIUDICE: ... six years and six months...

BROOKS: Probation?

GIUDICE: Yes, he`s going to get probation, Mike. He`s not doing six years.

BROOKS: Well, what`s he going to do...

GIUDICE: Mike...

BROOKS: ... pick up trash along the road?

GIUDICE: Mike, it takes...

BROOKS: Maybe serve...

(CROSSTALK)

GIUDICE: ... to negotiate a plea.

BROOKS: Hey, forget it! Richard...

GIUDICE: The government has got to make a deal that Mike is going to take, or he`s going to go to trial. We`re talking about...

BROOKS: He needs to go to jail! Period!

GIUDICE: Mike -- Mike, you can talk that way, but you`re not trying the case. They`re going to offer him less than a year. It`s going to be custodial time, which may mean the federal camp, which is light duty. He`s going to play a lot of fines...

BROOKS: Club Fed. Club Fed.

GIUDICE: That`s right. That`s right. That`s what he`s going to get.

BROOKS: He`ll be playing football for Club Fed!

GIUDICE: And he`ll take that deal. And he should.

BROOKS: He should not get any deal whatsoever!

GIUDICE: Mike...

BROOKS: Richard Herman, all these other people who have taken deals, do we know what they`ve take?

RICHARD HERMAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We don`t know what they`ve taken. They haven`t been sentenced yet. They`ve pled to felonies. Mike Vick`s going to plead to some sort of felony. The most he`s going to get is house arrest. He` will be...

BROOKS: House arrest!

HERMAN: ... on the football field next year. He will absolutely be playing next year. And Mike, you got to wake up. You got to put a tie on or something. Listen, this is...

BROOKS: No, you...

(CROSSTALK)

BROOKS: ... because you`re not making any sense!

HERMAN: Listen, listen. It`s tough dog fighting. It`s horrible. But 22 brave soldiers died in Iraq last week. Let`s get real, OK?

BROOKS: You`re talking...

HERMAN: It`s dogs!

BROOKS: You`re talking apples and oranges...

HERMAN: He`s got no prior history.

BROOKS: You`re talking apples and oranges here. Look, here`s Michael Vick...

HERMAN: He`s got no prior criminal history. With no prior criminal history, he`s not going to be incarcerated...

BROOKS: That we know of!

(CROSSTALK)

BROOKS: That we know of.

HERMAN: Well, that`s...

BROOKS: Well, you know...

(CROSSTALK)

BROOKS: OK. Well, let me ask you this. This superseding indictment that`ll be coming down, is there going to be anything RICO involved -- racketeering, influence, corrupt organization of Bad Newz Kennels?

HERMAN: It`s not going to come down. There`s going to be a plea deal. It`s going to be over this week, over and out! This case is done.

BROOKS: Yes, all his -- all his...

HERMAN: Not going to supersede.

BROOKS: All his boys are rolling on him now, so he`s got nothing to do, and they are singing like crazy. Susan Moss...

HERMAN: All the cellar (ph) rats. All the rats are rolling, right, Mike. You know how that is.

(CROSSTALK)

BROOKS: Oh, oh, oh! Wait a minute! Richard Herman -- let me see Richard Herman. Richard, what is this rats? Oh, are you one of these kind, Oh, don`t snitch on anybody? Is this (INAUDIBLE) is that what you`re saying? Nobody should snitch?

HERMAN: Hey, listen...

BROOKS: They`re trying to save their own ass, period! Susan...

HERMAN: That`s right.

BROOKS: Susan, you know, I -- you look at dog fighting. Don`t you think he should do some time?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Probation or house arrest is offensive.

BROOKS: Absolutely!

MOSS: It is offensive in this case. Look at the facts! They found...

HERMAN: Take it easy!

MOSS: ... dead dogs on his property. They found dog fighting paraphernalia on his property. You now have three of his friends who are saying that he was involved up to his neck.

BROOKS: And he was funding everything!

MOSS: It`s lonely being at the top, but he`s going to be in jail. Hey, you lie down with dogs, you end up with fleas.

BROOKS: And he was bankrolling everything. And now they`re all turning on him. I know in the beginning, he thought, Oh, no, they`re not going to turn on me because I`ve been paying them off. I`ve been -- I`ve been given them all money and taking them all over the -- up and down the East Coast. Oh! It just -- it makes...

MOSS: They turned on him quicker than a top!

GIUDICE: Mike, that`s why he`s going to take the plea, as Richard said. I agree completely.

BROOKS: Well, OK. He takes the plea. Now, you know, under the federal sentencing guidelines, how much time would he do?

GIUDICE: In my opinion, the max is six years, it depends what he pleads to, Mike. There are many, many counts in this indictment, and it`s going to depend how the plea is fashioned. Again, it takes two to make a plea. The federal government`s got to offer Mike Vick something that he can live with and try to recreate his career. If they want to max him out, Billy Martin`s going to pick 12 jurors.

BROOKS: Now, Susan Moss, why haven`t -- why have not local charges, you know, been brought on this guy? You know, the Suri (ph) County prosecutor, Mr. Poindexter (ph), who`s been sitting on his hands this whole time and not wanting to do anything, I think, because he`s -- I think he`s afraid of Michael Vick`s celebrity. Why haven`t local charges been brought against him also?

MOSS: Well, that`s the question, and that`s certainly a question that needs to be answered.

BROOKS: Absolutely!

MOSS: Perhaps he is obsessed with the celebrity status of Mr. Vick. But I can tell you something. He should be going to a real jail and doing real time.

BROOKS: Let`s go to the phones. Debbie in Canada. Thanks for being with us. You have a question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. I was wondering, if Michael Vick does take the plea deal and pleads guilty, will that ruin his career? I can`t imagine any team who would want to, you know, play somebody that did something like this.

BROOKS: Sandra Golden from Sports Talk Radio 790, "The Zone," what do you think?

GOLDEN: Well, Arthur Blank said in his press conference as the indictment came down that if Michael Vick pleads guilty or is found guilty, he is no longer going to be a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Roger Goodell, who`s commissioner of the NFL, is a whole `nother story. He`s still doing his own private investigation, and he doesn`t need Michael Vick to be found guilty or plead guilty. He can pull the plug on him this year, suspend him completely.

BROOKS: Now, let`s talk for a minute about Roger Goodell. You know, as I said earlier, he`s the chairman and CEO. But you know, it doesn`t matter if there`s any criminal charge or anything else. Under the player - - here`s an NFL player contract right here. And right on the front page, it says, under section 2, "Employment and Services," it says, "Club employs player as a skilled football player." And then it goes on to say that they -- he "agrees to give his best effort and loyalty to the club and to conduct himself on and off the field with the appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect and approval for those associated with the game."

You`re going to tell me that he is acting with respect to the game? Absolutely not!

Let`s go to the phones. Mike from Ohio. Thanks for being with us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I was wondering if the Atlanta Falcons or any of Michael Vick`s advertisers, if found guilty, would have any recourse to recoup any money that they`d already spent on him.

BROOKS: You know, Mike, that`s a great question. In fact, one of his last endorsements, Rawlings, just dropped him. They came out with a statement, and I think, Liz, we have that statement from what Rawlings actually said. And you know, they were -- everybody`s dropping him like a hot potato. I think that, you know, any -- even if he`s found -- he does a little time, comes back, does community service, picking up trash along 75, 85 in downtown Atlanta, or up in 95 in Richmond, I think that you`re going to still see nobody wanting to touch him with a 10-foot pole.

You know, this is what it says. "Alleged participation in a dog fighting operation is illegal and entirely" -- it`s just -- I mean, it goes on, and basically, they`re saying, Michael Vick, we are done with you.

I want to bring in Dr. Patricia Saunders, clinical psychologist here in New York. Patricia, back when I was going through homicide school, they talked about something called the "homicidal triad." People who commit homicide, heinous crimes like this, and it`s involved -- they start off as a young -- as a young kid. This involves bed wetting. It involves juvenile fire setting. And it also involves dog torture. Is dog torture any indication of psychosis?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: It is not an indication of psychosis, Mike, but it`s used as a predictor of anti-social behavior and possibly of a psychopathic personality. That is someone who has no conscience and no concern or empathy about any other living creature.

BROOKS: You know, and -- I don`t know. I mean, I had a golden retriever, little cocker spaniel, Carlie (ph) -- I tell you, I look at these pictures and I`m going, How can anyone, anyone in their right mind. condone this kind of dog fighting?

But you know, I -- is it running rampant, Sandra Golden? Is it running rampant in the NFL, in the NBA? Because, you know, we`ve heard -- we`ve heard other NFL football players say, Oh, I can take you down any road, any time, and see a dog fight.

GOLDEN: You know, and I guess I`m naive to this. I had no idea this went on, but Ronde Barber was interviewed by "Sports Illustrated," and he told Peter King, the writer, that you can ask every one of the NFL players, they know somebody who has been to a dog fight. Most people know that it goes on.

And you know what else, Mike? Tonight, absolutely, on HBO, they have the "Real Sports" segment, where they`re going to reveal -- they went behind the scenes since February. They`ve been doing a six-month project that had nothing to do with Michael Vick. This was the whole underground of dog fighting. And they said it is not for the weak of heart. They tell stories of your dog being stolen out of your backyard. This small town in Mississippi, the dog comes limping home. They take it to the vet. They said, This dog has been thrown into a dog fight. So they are really going to reveal a lot about that, and it premiers tonight. And this absolutely had nothing to do with Michael Vick.

BROOKS: I tell you what, I bet you there are a lot of players right now in the NFL who may have been in dog fighting and -- you know, every time you were involved -- you go to a dog fight, they`re always taking pictures. They`re always using video. It just makes me ill. And you know, I walk right down the street in my own neighborhood, and I see dogs walking around with chains around their neck, and it`s only for one purpose, to strengthen their neck for dog fighting.

To tonight`s "Case Alert." After seven months in custody, the Tennessee woman who fatally shot her preacher husband in the back now free. Mary Winkler, a 33-year-old mother of three girls, freed from a mental health facility today. She continues to wage a legal battle to win custody of her two girls and face a $2 million civil lawsuit filed by the parents of her slain husband, Matthew.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michael Vick could be considering a plea deal for his alleged role in the dog fighting operation, "The Atlanta Journal- Constitution" reporting Vick`s attorneys spoke to federal prosecutors yesterday. Reports say Vick has now until Friday to make up his mind about that plea deal. Two more co-defendants in the case are expected to enter plea agreements later this week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. Thank you for joining us tonight. While we`re talking about Michael Vick, looks like he`s the last man standing. All his co-defendants are flipping on him like fish. And you know, Jane Velez-Mitchell, animal rights activist, joining us here in New York, there`s a lot of people you talk to and they say, Oh -- we hear NFL players, Jane -- dog fighting, no big deal. What do you say to them?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, no big deal? I`d like to take that lawyer who thought it was no big deal and put him in a ring with some of those dogs, and I think that would wipe that smirk off his face. The fact is, this is a very important issue for many reasons for people. Animal abuse and abuse against women and children often go hand in hand. When humane officers go in to rescue an abused dog, they often find a battered woman and a battered child. Anybody who is capable of torturing an animal in this manner is capable of inflicting hideous damage to human beings. So it`s all interconnected. You can`t separate one from the other.

People say they love their pets. I urge all Americans to expand their circle of compassion beyond their pets themselves to animals across this country and to contact the football commissioner and contact the law enforcement powers that is be and say, No plea deal. We have to prosecute this man to the full extent of the law, and we have to expose these horrible dog fighting rings.

The video that you are showing there is just of the foreplay. That`s not when their ears have been ripped off and their eyes have been gouged out and their eyeballs are falling on the floor and their noses have been sliced open. And then when they lose, they`re electrocuted, drowned or body-slammed to death. This is an outrage! It has to stop.

BROOKS: You know, I agree. I totally agree with you. And you know, having been an owner of a rescued dog myself -- look at these pictures. It`s just amazing. And for someone to condone that -- you know, they say there are no bad dogs, there`s just bad owners.

I have a friend, Victoria and Brian (ph). They have two of the sweetest, two of the sweetest pit bulls you`ll ever see in your life. So that just goes to say there are no such things as bad dogs. There`s bad owners.

You know, I -- personally, I`ve seen dogs that we were just talking a few minutes ago -- Sandra was talking about dogs being used as bait. I can tell you, one time on SWAT team, we`re coming around, serving a search warrant -- you`ve heard the story before, but I got to say it again. Coming around a corner, I take my flashlight, scan it across the yard, and over in a corner is a dead golden retriever that we know was used as bait because of one of these fighting dogs because when we were going there to do a drug warrant, a search warrant and arrest warrant, we knew that there was supposed to be fighting dogs on the property. It just makes me ill.

To tonight`s "Case Alert." Police and federal authorities in South Carolina tonight on the hunt for two suspects in an armored car robbery. (INAUDIBLE) attack left one guard brutally greaten, and the perps got away with a whopping $18 million. Five suspects are already in custody, the last two on the lam, 22-year-old Dominic Lashawn (ph) Lyde and 28-year-old Derrick Benjamin. If you have any information on Lyde or Benjamin, please call Crimestoppers at 888-559-8477. There is a $250,000 reward.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two of Vick`s co-defendants have reportedly reached plea deals on the dog fighting charges. A third co-defendant has already agreed to testify against Vick. This latest move as Vick`s -- has Vick`s lawyers reportedly considering whether or not to accept a deal of their own. His fate within the NFL could also be decided this week or next.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thanks again for being with us. So we`re talking about Michael Vick. Is he going to take a plea deal? Is he not? He`s got until Friday. And if he decides to, will he do any jail time?

You know, right before we went to the break -- let me see Richard Herman and Jane Velez-Mitchell. Let me see them up here. Mr. Herman, let me ask you, when Jane was sitting there talking about the plight of these poor animals, you`re sitting there rolling your eyes. What say you about that?

HERMAN: You know, Mike, Jane`s passion is compelling. And I prefaced my comments before by saying this is horrible. But this is not to be equated with the killing of human beings.

BROOKS: We`re not talking about human beings!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We can`t run our entire criminal justice system...

HERMAN: Don`t equate it to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... saying something else is going wrong somewhere else in the world. If we did that, we wouldn`t prosecute anything. There`s always something worse going on in the world. The fact is that animals have no voice. They can`t pick up the phone and call police. They can`t leave and go to the police station and say, Something`s happened to me. They`re completely helpless.

HERMAN: Hey, Jane...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The only voice they have is our voice!

HERMAN: Take it easy, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, I`m not taking it easy!

HERMAN: Janie, take it easy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you look at the photos and you see the video of these animals, with their skulls practically ripped off, drowned, body slammed to death, you wouldn`t take it easy, either! The American people have had enough of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very good, Jane.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of NFL teams out there that value skill over all else. Some people think that this case will die down over time, especially if he is out of this league for the year and the attention to it will be a lot less next year. The thing is, NFL teams want to win games. Michael Vick has won games for the Falcons over and over and over again. So there are a lot of teams out there that need quarterbacks and they will look at him and they will say, you know what? He made a mistake. We`re going to overlook that. He has got huge fan support in Atlanta. Who`s to say he won`t have that in another city, particularly a major city? So I think he will have an NFL career if he is exonerated of these charges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for staying with us.

You know, yeah, he made a big mistake by ever getting involved in dogfighting, but it`s unbelievable to me that anyone could have the mentality to get involved in dogfighting to begin with. And there`s a lot at stake for him. He`s one of the highest paid football players in the whole National Football League. Let`s go out to the lines. Marilyn from Massachusetts, thanks for staying with us. You have a question?

CALLER: Yes, I do. I`d like to know if the Internal Revenue Service can nail Michael Vick for unreported income related to dog fighting, can it impose jail time even if Vick has a no-jail plea agreement with the prosecutors?

BROOKS: Ray Giudice?

GIUDICE: Absolutely. If it`s found that he purposefully failed to report income taxes, there would be another federal claim. Now I would venture to say if a deal is pled, it is going to be for all offenses and all possible charges and it will close down every charge possible against Michael Vick. But the answer is, yes.

BROOKS: Will it just be, Ray, for the one initial charge in the first indictment?

GIUDICE: In my opinion, I think the prosecutor ought to pick one or two charges from the lengthy indictment that summarize the viciousness of these charges and I agree the seriousness of the charges but then again allow Mr. Vick to do his time, pay the debt to society and perhaps rehabilitate his career. We allowed Martha Stewart to do that.

BROOKS: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What was Martha Stewart doing?

GIUDICE: I think that was -

BROOKS: She wasn`t killing dogs.

GIUDICE: Well, I think that was called federal securities fraud, Mike, which as you remember when you were in the FBI was a federal felony. Mike, put this in context. Mary Winkler who you just showed a clip of shotgunned her husband in their bedroom and did 240 days in prison. Let`s be reasonable.

BROOKS: That is another story for another day.

GIUDICE: That is right. Put it in context. Not an emotional context, but a legal context. And that`s how an appropriate plea bargain will come about.

BROOKS: Susan Moss, what say you?

MOSS: Comparing this to Ms. Winkler is offensive. Ms. Winkler survived years of domestic violence at the hands of her husband. These dogs did nothing. To say that the two are equivalent or say that their sentences should be combined with the two, it`s just ridiculous.

GIUDICE: That`s not what I`m saying. I`m saying put things in legal context, not emotional context.

MOSS: Well, let`s put this -

GIUDICE: This is a legal case in front of a federal judge who last week probably gave some guy 30 years in prison for some serious offense, drug dealing, murder, whatever. Now he is presented with a heinous case, but what context should he use?

MOSS: The context -

GIUDICE: And he should never get away with fairness and the ability of any defendant who admits responsibility to rehabilitate himself.

MOSS: The context he should put this in are the millions of kids who look up to Michael Vick who now may think that dogfighting is OK. Remember, not only are we dealing with this man, but dealing with this man`s influence. How many children are looking up to him and want to emulate his behavior?

GIUDICE: And how can he turn that around by entering a plea, admitting responsibility, and changing his life around?

MOSS: Only -

GIUDICE: There is a message there that should not be ignored.

BROOKS: Changing his life around?

MOSS: Only if he does real time.

BROOKS: You`re going to tell me he is going to rehabilitate himself? OK. Well, I`m not going to do this anymore. Sandra Golden, let me ask you something. Recently at the draft didn`t Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, didn`t he pull Vick aside and talk to him and ask him right up front were you involved this?

GOLDEN: Absolutely right. Michael Vick there with several members of Georgia Tech as they were certainly paying tribute to them and Roger Goodell said "Michael Vick looked me straight in the face and said I have absolutely nothing to do with this."

BROOKS: So he lied to the commissioner?

GOLDEN: Yeah. That is exactly right.

BROOKS: And you talk about the player conduct clause, in section 15, you should integrity of the game, here it says player recognizes the detriment to the league and professional football that will result from impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of NFL games of the integrity and character of NFL players. Then it goes on to say basically a violation of knowingly associates with gamblers or gambling activity.

GOLDEN: Absolutely.

BROOKS: Now, was there not some gambling going on during this dogfighting?

GOLDEN: Well if you`ll go look at Roger Goodell`s quotes over the last four days, he mentions gambling and gambling undertones and he has complete carte blanche in the situation. So remember, he is doing the private investigation. He has separated himself completely from this federal investigation. He doesn`t need one thing to be proven. It is up to him.

BROOKS: Keep in mind, NFL security, folks, NFL security, it`s run by a former assistant director of the FBI and most of the representatives for the teams are all former FBI investigators.

So I can -- you know, we are not talking about Surrey County here. We are talking about federal investigators looking at Michael Vick. We talked about the IRS. I can tell you from a former investigator, they`re not scared when the FBI shows up in their raid jackets and hits your door.

They know behind the FBI is the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigative unit. Follow the money trail and I guarantee you, as part of this investigation, they are looking at everything of Michael Vick`s.

They`re looking at the travel records, his bank accounts and they are going to go over them with a fine-toothed comb and if there`s any violations in there, I tell you what, he is in big trouble. I want to go out to Wayne Pacelle, he is the CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States. Wayne, thank you for being with us.

WAYNE PACELLE, HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, Mike.

BROOKS: Wayne, how widespread is dogfighting in the United States?

PACELLE: You know, Mike, we want justice to be done in this case, but we also want a larger spotlight on this problem in society. This is not just Michael Vick and the three co-defendants. This is tens of thousands of people in organized animal fighting activities or perhaps 250,000 plus pit bulls are victimized every year.

It is not only associated with the obvious animal cruelty but with narcotics traffic, illegal gambling, violence against people. As Jane Velez-Mitchell said, this is a scourge in society. We need to flip this case and now turn it to have stronger federal, stronger state laws, better enforcement so we can root out this activity. Please join us, America, join the Humane Society of the United States. Go to our Web site, humanesociety.org to get involved with our campaigns to stop this practice.

BROOKS: Wayne, I can tell you when you go out to serve a warrant and you see these dogs out there, you know, it`s not dog`s fault. It is these scumbags who own the dogs that are using them for these things. Now, there is organized fighting of dogs, and there`s also street fighting of dogs. What`s the difference?

PACELLE: Well, the organized fighting can be at the street level or it can also be among professionals. We class the world, the dogfighting world into three groups: professionals, who really pay a lot of attention to the blood lines, trafficking the dogs on the national, even international scale, shipping dogs to Eastern Europe or Russia or Italy. Then there are the hobbyists who pay a lot of attention to the gambling. They do pay some attention to the blood lines. Then there`s the street fighting, which is the fighting that`s surging in urban communities across the country. Kids have pit bulls, they think that this is a macho display and they`re fighting the dogs in urban communities.

It is an epidemic and we have got to do something about it. A lot of the shelters in the United States are filled with pit bulls who are just castaways from people who are having these animals for absolutely the wrong reasons.

BROOKS: Now, if somebody -- knows someone that`s fighting dogs, you talk about the street fighting, is that where basically you get two people come up, their dogs go at each other and they go around an apartment building and throw some money on the ground and bet on their dogs?

PACELLE: It can be like that, very informal, more ad hoc. Or it can be more organized. We have at the Humane Society of the United States a standing reward of $5,000 for anyone who gives us information leading to the arrest and conviction of people involved in dog fighting or other organized animal fighting like cock fighting or hog dog fighting.

We want people to work with law enforcement, work with us, so we can stop this horror. This is a spectator sport. It`s not just that people condone it, it`s that people are being titillated by the idea. They enjoy watching animals tear each other apart. That is a bad thing for our society.

BROOKS: Let`s go to the lines. Arlene from Florida, thanks for staying with us. You have a question?

CALLER: Yes. What is the usual punishment for those that run these dogfighting things and why should Vick be treated any other way than they are?

BROOKS: Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society of the United States, what`s the normal charge? What is the normal time that the people do if they`re found guilty?

PACELLE: This is the most severely punished type of animal cruelty in the country. Every state has a prohibition. It`s a felony in 48 states. It`s also a federal felony. The only two states that still have misdemeanors are Idaho and Wyoming.

Last year, the attorney general of South Carolina did a great job and someone was put away for 30 years for being a professional dogfighter.

You see other people get a slap on the wrist. The biggest problem is lack of enforcement. Since this Vick case, we have seen a surge of cases of dogfighting.

BROOKS: When we come back, Kevin Federline`s lawyers serve Britney Spears` camp again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has filed this because he wants to pursue a custodial arrangement he feels is best for his children. People that care about the children will provide information that is relevant to their best interest and we will aggressively pursue finding them and getting that evidence from them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks sitting in for Nancy Grace. Thanks for being with us.

Well, the battle royale continues between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. For the latest on what`s going on in Hollywood, we go out to Sibila Vargas, CNN correspondent who was in courtroom today for the hearing. Thanks, Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That`s right. There was a hearing today and what the hearing was all about is they want to make sure that the documents are sealed, that the media does not get access to it.

They`re concerned because the kids are involved and they think that somehow the kids, everything that they do, their schedules are going to be in there and they`re very concerned about that.

But the sparks were definitely not inside the courtroom today. It was more outside. Now, I caught up with Laura Wasser. I asked her how did she feel about Britney Spears? Was Britney Spears concerned?

She didn`t really want to talk. She was very tight-lipped. But she did defend her client. She said that Britney, she was not concerned about Britney taking care of her kids and she did say that this was a private matter and the fact that there was so many media people outside, she said, that`s one of the reasons they do want to have the documents closed.

Now, Mark Kaplan, I got a chance to speak to him. He`s Kevin Federline` attorney and I told him, I said there`s a lot of people out there, speculating that perhaps Kevin Federline is in this for the money. What do you say? And he said that absolutely not. That in no particular way is Kevin Federline in for any money. In fact, there has never been a monetary link to him going for custodial rights of these children.

I also asked him about Shar Jackson. And of course Shar Jackson was his ex and she has kids. I said, why hasn`t he aggressively pursued those kids and said he`s got a wonderful relationship with Shar Jackson, he has no reason to do so.

BROOKS: Let`s take a listen to what Mark Kaplan had to say today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK KAPLAN, ATTORNEY: Today was a hearing to see whether the conditionally sealed file, the file temporarily sealed, would become sealed permanently. There were objections to the sealing of the file by a couple of the news media organizations. A brief was filed by them today that neither I nor Ms. Wasser had any chance to review or respond to. So the court set this hearing and gave us an opportunity to file written opposition and the hearing will go forward sometime in early September.

I think any time you have a case that involves celebrities with minor children, small children, it`s important that the children be protected. And there sometimes there is information in the file that would give any member of the public were the file not to be filed access to personal information about the kids, their schedules and things like that. And we feel that the public interest and protecting the privacy of the children outweighs any benefit that otherwise third parties would have in having access to that information.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROOKS: I want to go out to Ken Baker from - he`s editorial director of Usmagazine.com. Ken, we`ve heard of Shannon Funk. She`s another former Brit assistant. What has she said to say?

KEN BAKER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, USMAGAZINE.COM: Well, Shannon Funk is among the very few people who have been in Britney`s inner circle who have witnessed what Mark Kaplan believes is going to come down to allegations of neglect and perhaps substance abuse.

Now Shannon Funk was an assistant earlier this summer and witnessed a lot of what Britney had been doing, going out, partying. Now Britney of course was in rehab earlier this year and she`s been seen drinking a lot.

"Us Weekly" has a cover story coming out tomorrow in which several sources come out and say as a fact that Britney Spears drinks at home in front of her kids and that being at home with Britney is sort of like being on a booze cruise.

I think it`s these kinds of allegations, these kinds of claims that Mark Kaplan, Kevin Federline`s attorney, is out to unearth to order to bring primary custody back to Kevin Federline, who I might add had full primary custody back in February when Britney was in rehab.

BROOKS: David Caplan, if she was out drinking, wouldn`t the paparazzi see her, yes or no?

DAVID CAPLAN, 24SIZZLER.COM: Yeah, they would. There have been photos of her sometimes emerging from clubs looking inebriated, but she never necessarily walks around with a beer in the hand, though.

BROOKS: Tonight, "CNN Heroes."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we rolling? OK.

ROVER DUVAL, CNN HERO: In the main center for last two years, the background music that we had while the kids were playing before gunshots, machine gunshots. Some of these kids have witnessed the worst atrocities. They live in the mud and no running water. No electricity. No garbage pickup. No food, nothing.

My name is Robert Duval. I`m the founder of the training center they call L`Athletique D`Haiti. This is the women`s team. The kids never miss practice and they`re disciplined enough to keep focused on something positive.

I left this country very young and I came back, I had a shock. What happened to my country? You know? I started asking questions and I was thrown in jail. When I came out, I was down to 90 pounds. That means skin and bones. That just turned my life around. This field used to be a dumping ground.

Now it is basically an after school program. One of the driving forces that has made our program so successful is that one plate of food we give them a day, because sometimes if those kids don`t get that, they just won`t get a plate of food.

We are soccer, track, basketball, table tennis and we have karate now. A hero is a kid who accepts to uplift himself in the most adverse conditions, maintains the course and really does succeed in changing his life. I feel that youth is important because the youth is the future. What I do is a drop in the bucket. A kid, he may have the most immense talent but if you don`t nourish it, you never know what he could have become.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks sitting in for Nancy Grace.

We are talking about the battle royale that continues between Kevin Federline and Britney Spears. I want to go out to Dr. Jennifer Shu in Atlanta. She`s a pediatrician and co-author of "Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood." Thanks for being with us, doctor. I want to ask you, we`ve talked about her bad parenting? Is she a bad parent? Is there some of training she can get if she does get full custody of the kids? Are the children in danger?

JENNIFER SHU, PEDIATRICIAN: Well the thing is Mike, it`s hard to be a parent any way you look at it. You have to take driver`s ed to learn how to drive a car, but the interesting thing is there is no requirement to take any classes to become a parent. So if Britney is willing to get some help, help is just a phone call away to her pediatrician, she can take local parenting classes. There are a number of people who would love to help her take better care of her children if she is willing to accept that help.

BROOKS: We have a special guest from L.A., it`s Ken Seeley. He`s an interventionist from A&E`s "Intervention" and founder of intervention911.com.

Ken, let me ask you, you know, we do not know if she is alcoholic, if she abuses drugs, any of this. We don`t know that. But she has been to rehab. Number one, why did she go to rehab? Number two, was it one of these spa rehabs or was it a real rehab, you know, like Betty Ford Clinic?

KEN SEELEY, INTERVENTIONIST: You know, Mike, I am really getting upset with the media the way we`re handling this because the problem is everybody`s focusing on everything else except that she is a sick, young woman that needs help.

You know, we have to address that and any doctor, any psychiatrist or therapist, when there`s somebody that`s in pain and needs help, that`s when we come in and help them.

But if there`s no pain, we can`t help them. This is a perfect opportunity, absolutely. So this is a perfect opportunity to help her. So I really want to get her the help she needs.

BROOKS: Tonight, let`s top to remember army specialist Jason Dore, just 25 of Moscow, Maine. Jason was eight months into the first tour of duty in Iraq. Dore joined the army in 2005. Loved the outdoors and fishing, at Hunter`s Pond in Bingham, Maine. He was extremely proud of his service in the military. Jason is survived by his grieving fiancee Sophie (ph), his father Jody (ph), mother Gail (ph) and 15-year-old brother Logan. Army Specialist Jason Dore, an American hero.

Thank you to all of our guests and thank you for being with us and inviting us into your homes tonight. See you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, stay safe.

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