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Vick, Three Others, Plead Not Guilty on Federal Dog Charges
Aired July 26, 2007 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking news in the case of NFL superstar multi-millionaire quarterback Michael Vick, Vick indicted by a secret federal grand jury, allegations of hanging, shooting, body slamming and even electrocuting dogs to death as part of a multi-state underground dog fighting operation, much of it as his super-secret estate near Richmond, Virginia.
Headlines tonight. Vick shows up flanked by lawyers at a federal courthouse today, shows up to boos and cheers from a massive crowd. Inside, Vick pleads not guilty in open court, Vick wearing a tailored suit in court instead of his Falcons training uniform on the field, day one, Falcon training camp, forced to surrender his passport and canine breeder`s license, Vick ordered not to leave the eastern district of Virginia, all the while, local Virginia prosecutors stand by doing nothing, letting the feds do all the heavy lifting.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A wild scene in Richmond, Virginia, crowds of hundreds beginning to gather near a federal courthouse at dawn today, all of them waiting for that large SUV to pull up delivering Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons star quarterback arriving to face charges of taking part in a brutal dog fighting ring. When Vick walked through the crowd, emotions broke loose.
(INAUDIBLE) Michael Vick pleading not guilty to all charges against him today. And in a statement read by his attorney, Vick said he looks forward to his day in court.
BILLY MARTIN, MICHAEL VICK`S ATTORNEY: This is Michael`s words. "Today in court, I pleaded innocent to the allegations made against me. I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name. I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. NFL superstar quarterback Michael Vick in court today on a federal grand jury indictment, all part of a vicious alleged underground dog fighting operation. Is the record-breaking NFL superstar, one time number one draft pick, losing $130 million NFL contract plus millions in endorsements all over dog fights? And more important, is Vick headed to a federal penitentiary?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Michael Vick last year became the first NFL quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards. And boy, that seems like years ago with what has transpired in this off-season with Vick, culminating for the moment with this -- his day in court today in Richmond, Virginia. Here is Vick a few moments ago as he left that U.S. federal court, having pleaded not guilty, and again, a court date being set on these three charges for allegedly running a gruesome dog fighting ring, that court set for Monday, November 26.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are some serious allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that has nothing right now to do with football.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve played with Michael since the beginning, so I support Michael and I`m hoping that he can get through this tough ordeal.
MARTIN: I would like to say that today, you all either heard or saw Michael take the first step toward proving his innocence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Vick in a federal courtroom today as Falcons training camp starts there in Flowery Branch, Georgia.
Straight out to Sandra Golden with sports talk radio. She`s the host on 790 AM, "The Zone." Bring me up to date.
SANDRA GOLDEN, SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST, 790 AM "THE ZONE": All right. I`ll tell you what happened today at Atlanta Falcons camp. It began at 3:00 o`clock. One side of the road is about 50 members of PETA, complete with blowhorns and signs against Vick. On the other side of the road, Nancy, pro-Vick supporters out en mass with blowhorns. It was a circus.
Circling above the training camp facility at Flowery Branch was a plane with a banner that read, The new name for the Falcons should be the dog fighters, the dog killers, the Atlanta dog killers.
Meanwhile, in Richmond, Virginia, I understand from Mary Kay Mallony (ph), who was in the courtroom -- she broke this story, from WAVY -- they started lining up today at 5:00 AM. The courtroom is said to hold 100 people. They had another satellite room that holds 300. It was filled to capacity. Protesters outside, Mike Vick very stoic. She said he did not change his expression the entire time he was in the courtroom, which I understand lasted about 50 minutes.
GRACE: Out to Larry Smith, CNN sport correspondent. You were also there at training camp today. What was your take?
LARRY SMITH, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I was really impressed, really, with the Atlanta Falcons overall, the way they conducted themselves. I mean, here is all this picketing going on. They knew the media was here en mass to talk about Michael Vick, not about football but the one guy who was not here, and one of the marquee players of the NFL. I thought they handled themselves very well.
Keep in mind also, this is the first day of the regime of Bobby Petrino, the new head coach that signed on back in January and didn`t know what he was signing on for.
But all the way through, the players really stuck to their message that they wished Vick well. They hoped that -- wish him the best as this court proceeding takes its course. At the same time, though, they`re focused on the guys who are in camp right now and really threw their support behind Joey Harrington (ph), the guy who is now their quarterback, now that Michael Vick is out for the moment.
GRACE: Out to the lines. Tammy in Florida. Hi, Tammy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. Reports estimate there`s about 40,000 dog fighting operations in the United States. Isn`t it unusual that you hear many cases of police busting up drug operations, but you never hear of police raiding these dog fighting rings?
GRACE: You know -- to Mike Brooks -- she`s absolutely correct. Explain.
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Nancy, you know, a lot of it doesn`t make the news. You know, now it is because you`ve got Michael Vick, but a lot of those don`t make the news. And keep in mind there are over 100,000 street fighters, if you will, where they`ll come down a road (ph), you`ll get one owner come up on another owner, the dog`s start fighting. They`ll go around the back of the apartment building and they`ll fight right then. There`s a lot of that happening.
But a lot of times, Nancy, as I talked about before, where you have dog fighting, you have drugs. So a lot of times, you find that dog fighting operation when you go to serve a drug search warrant or arrest warrant, and then they investigate that. And that sometimes doesn`t make the news, but they are out there.
GRACE: You know, I also want to go to a special guest joining us tonight. This is a guy that knows all about dog fighting firsthand. I want to go out to Bobby Brown, director of a documentary called "Off the Chain." He actually infiltrated some of these extremely vicious dog fighting operations, underground dog fighting operations.
Welcome, Bobby. Bobby, the caller, Tammy in Florida, is correct. For all the years that I prosecuted -- I was 10 years with the state, a couple years with the feds -- I never heard of them breaking up dog fighting operations. We break up drug chains left and right, drug operations, but not dog fighting operations. Why is it so difficult to do, Bobby?
BOBBY J. BROWN, DIRECTOR, "OFF THE CHAIN": This is something that so well entrenched. These people, they pick a location and they go to...
GRACE: Hold on, Bobby. Is this the video from Bobby Brown`s documentary, "Off the Chain"? Yes, it is. Go ahead, Mr. Brown.
BROWN: They plan these matches, and then at the last minute, 20 minutes before a match, you think you`re going to one place and they`ll switch the location. When you arrive at a location, there`ll be an armed guard with a police scanner, and you`ll go up to him and you`ll let him know who you are. Then they`ll send you to somebody else who has a police scanner. And they`re armed. Then they send you to another location. So it`s very secretive and it`s very well entrenched.
GRACE: Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown, is this video you took of them shooting up a dog with some type of a syringe? What is that?
BROWN: I don`t have a picture in front of me.
GRACE: OK. There was video of shooting a dog up intravenously with a syringe. And it`s from your documentary, "Off the Chain."
BROWN: Yes. These guys, they can`t take their dogs to veterinarians because the veterinarians will turn them in. And all these guys, they think they`re veterinarian-trained. If they go to -- if they don`t know anything about what drug to give these dogs, they`ll ask another dog fighter and they`ll work on their dogs. The one clip that you see where the dog is getting shot with a syringe, the guy is sedating the dog with a drug called kirazol (ph). And the reason why he did that was to sharpen the dog`s teeth before a match.
GRACE: Oh! And I`m seeing other video. I don`t know if you can see the monitor that the viewers are seeing, but it looks like a dog is hanging there, somehow getting measured for something.
BROWN: Oh, yes. I know exactly what you`re talking about. That is a weigh scale. The guy is putting the dog on -- a rope around the dog and he`s weighing the dog, which comes in at about 31 pounds. All these dogs are pretty small that they fight. They`re about 30, 40 pounds. That one was 31 pounds.
GRACE: With me tonight, Bobby J. Brown, the director of a documentary called "Off the Chain." He infiltrated these illegal dog fighting rings. And he also taking your calls tonight.
Let`s go to the lines. Bobby in New Hampshire. Hi, Bobby.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.
GRACE: Hi, dear. What`s your question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just wondering, what is the hard-core evidence against Michael Vick?
GRACE: Well, I`ve got the indictment right here, Bobby from New Hampshire. And according to this document, there are four eyewitnesses that place Vick at these dog fights, bringing dogs, going and getting up to $23,000 in a bag for someone that won a purse on one dog fight. So far, these witnesses have been unnamed. They are confidential witnesses. I`m trying to find out when they`re going to be revealed.
What you`re seeing right now, everybody, is highly disturbing video of dog fighting, dog fighting similar to that Vick is accused of participating in.
But back out to Mike Brooks. I`m expecting a paper trail, as well, to prove guilt against Vick.
BROOKS: I tell you what, Nancy, it`s not over with. Just in the indictment, you`re going to get just enough evidence that they need to indict these four guys. But there`s a lot of evidence that we haven`t heard yet. And I guarantee you one other thing they`re going to be doing. They`re going to be following the paper trail. Yes, they can be afraid of the FBI, but they`re going to be even more afraid of the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation division because...
GRACE: Oh, please don`t say tax man. That makes even me start shaking.
BROOKS: No, but I`m telling you, that`s exactly right. And they`re going to follow that paper trail because if there`s any money involved and it`s not being taxed, that`s where -- they`re definitely going to get them on that.
GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us out of the Atlanta jurisdiction, trial lawyer Ray Giudice, out of the New York jurisdiction, trial attorney Michael Mazzariello. Ray Giudice, when I say the feds -- and you know the feds, all right? I was a fed briefly. They love a paper trail. How -- if they can do it, how will they prove guilt on Vick?
RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Nancy, they`re going to get into his checking accounts. They`re going to look at paper trail. They`re going to look at videotape, his ATMs, when was he in Virginia near the house, when was he in Atlanta or other states.
When the feds indict, everyone needs to understand they already have 90 percent of their case ready to go. They`re not like Mike Nifong up in Durham, who charges you and then tries to figure it out. They know what their case is. They have their evidence. They could try this case on November 26, which I believe is the trial date.
GRACE: You`re absolutely correct on that. And Michael Mazzariello, he`s right. As a former state prosecutor, we`d get enough to indict, and then I would have work the case myself, go out to the crime scene, find the witnesses, go to the crime lab, rework the whole case before I took it to a trial, if I wanted to win. But the feds -- that`s a whole different animal, Michael.
MICHAEL MAZZARIELLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they still have to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They...
GRACE: No, that`s not my point. I`m asking about the paper trail.
MAZZARIELLO: There`s going to be an extensive paper trail. They`re going to investigate it. I do not believe that Michael Vick will have anything to worry about in the paper trail. He bought the house, and that looks like all he has to do with this.
GRACE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! He bought the house? What are you talking about?
MAZZARIELLO: He purchased the home where the dog fighting took place. He`s the one that put up the $35,000. He`s also...
GRACE: I`m not...
MAZZARIELLO: ... said he`s never been at the house.
GRACE: I`m not...
MAZZARIELLO: He`s never visited the house.
GRACE: I`m way past...
MAZZARIELLO: It`s a knowing and...
GRACE: ... that -- the mortgage, dear. I`m way past that. I`m talking about this multi-state -- seven states alleged -- in an underground dog fighting operation. You know the feds are going to get every single ping they can off his cell phone. Where...
MAZZARIELLO: Nancy, the feds have lost cases in the past.
GRACE: Yes. I`m talking about...
MAZZARIELLO: They have lost. I mean, let`s not hold them up here to be, you know, like the greatest prosecutors in the world here.
GRACE: OK, let me start at A one more time, how the state -- how the state -- and I`m talking about the feds in this case -- proves a paper trail. Let`s go back to Mike Brooks. Mike, in a paper trail, I would expect the feds to prove cell phone documents showing that Vick was at dog fights. You know, they can trace those right down to one or two blocks of where you are. Money trail -- ATMs used at these locations on dates of dog fights, money given away, although much of it was in cash. Eyewitness accounts -- there is going to be -- where did he stay, at a hotel? Did he use a credit card? That`s the way the feds build a case, Mike Brooks.
BROOKS: You`re absolutely right, Nancy. And just like Ray said, that`s the way they do it. And they`re also going to take a look at veterinary bills, how much money he put out for vets -- vet bills, for drugs for the dogs, these fighting dogs. They`re going to look at everything in his background. They`re going to go all the way back to when, you know, he was off injured for a while, and you know, where was he then? They`re also going to take a look at his computer, at, you know, his cell records. Anything he`s got at all, money wise, financial-wise, they`ll be looked at.
GRACE: Well, Mazzariello does have a point regarding the ownership of the home, Ray Giudice, because the fact that he owned the homes, even though he says he didn`t know what was going on, they`ll be looking at how often he really was there, who can place him there, are there airplane tickets taking him home? If he didn`t stay there, where did he stay? And were all the dogs (INAUDIBLE) There were 66 dogs taken in the home, many of them scarred, blood all over the walls, blood-soaked carpet, the rape stand that was used to force female dogs to breed against their will.
I mean, how could he not see that, Mike Brooks? Those are going to be issues the feds bring up.
BROOKS: Absolutely, Nancy. I mean, you look at the return of the search warrant. All that stuff is in there. They`re also looking for videos because I can tell you, these dogs...
GRACE: This is a shot of the rape stand, Mike Brooks, that I was talking about, used on female dogs.
BROOKS: Exactly. They grab -- they put the female dog`s head in there, then they bring the male in and...
GRACE: I mean, how could you not notice that in your backyard, Mazzariello?
GRACE: No, I`m serious. You`re laughing it all off!
MAZZARIELLO: Well, I`m laughing because I cut the grass at my house.
GRACE: ... I saw that in the back yard...
MAZZARIELLO: I would have noticed that.
GRACE: ... I would know something was very, very wrong.
MAZZARIELLO: I don`t -- Nancy, I bought it for a family member. I don`t know what they were doing there.
GRACE: You bought a rape stand?
MAZZARIELLO: I take responsibility...
GRACE: A rape stand...
MAZZARIELLO: I take Republican for buying...
GRACE: ... for a family member?
MAZZARIELLO: ... the location. They ran it. I have no knowledge. I have no knowledge. I did not willfully participate in everything...
MAZZARIELLO: ... would be the defense for Mr. Vick.
GRACE: Last time I looked -- now, maybe the law has charged in the last 45 minutes, but the last time I looked up a criminal statute, ignorance was no defense.
MAZZARIELLO: But Nancy, they have to prove willfulness here, that he knew, that he intentionally participated in this conspiracy...
GRACE: OK. I`m all down with that.
MAZZARIELLO: ... and 84 overt acts that they listed in their indictment.
GRACE: I agree with you. It is their burden to prove it.
Out to the lines. Pam in Illinois. Hi, Pam.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I was wondering, why is it a federal case and not a state case?
GRACE: Pam in Illinois, you should be a legal analyst because the local prosecutor in that jurisdiction, I believe his name is Mr. Poindexter (ph), has been doing this the whole time. The feds had to come in and take jurisdiction over this. And if you`ll notice, Pam, this is a conspiracy case. The state actually has felony charges they could seek, but so far, they`ve done absolutely nothing on this case.
Everyone, when we come back, a former Atlanta Falcon, an all-pro, an NFL analyst, Chuck Smith (ph), will be joining us. More, Vick in court today, showing up to the courthouse amid a massive crowd of people booing and cheering.
But very quickly, to tonight`s "Case Alert." A Jacksonville police officer saves the life of a man who leads police on a high-speed chase, the guy`s SUV erupting into flames. Officer Folan Christmas (ph) on patrol, spots an SUV driving erratically on a rainy night, the car reported stolen. Suspects swerves, donuts (ph) to elude police, crashes into a tree and a brick wall, the car up in flames, Christmas risking his life to pull the suspect, Jose Villanova (ph), to safety before the car explodes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on out! Get out!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My right ankle...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need help! You`re going to burn to death! Come on!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m trying!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many more critics than supporters here. There was a loud round of boos when Michael Vick entered the courthouse. He and his three co-defendants did plead not guilty to the federal charges of dog fighting, serious federal charges that carry a punishment of up to six years in prison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Today, his lawyer says that he took the first step in proving his innocence. But do you remember this? Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOBE BRYANT, LOS ANGELES LAKERS: I`m innocent, you know? I didn`t force her to do anything against her will. I`m innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: That is Kobe Bryant after rape allegations were leveled against him, which he beat, I might add. And sitting next to him in that exact presser was his wife.
Out to Larry Smith, CNN sports correspondent and CNN anchor. What`s Vick afraid of? Come on. He`s been in front of the camera a million times. What`s so hard about declaring your innocence?
SMITH: Yes, well, that`s -- he`s been in a lot of trouble lately, when you think about all the other incidents, and this is just the worst one of all. Keep in mind, too, that while Kobe Bryant is a situation we can sort of compare this to, this really is much worse. Not only can you argue that the crimes are much worse in terms of, you know, killing dogs and that kind of thing, but as an NFL starting quarterback, you are the most visible face in that city. I`ve said all along, in fact, you know, if you go through and, you know, very quickly name 10 mayors of major cities in the country...
GRACE: Larry Smith, did I just hear you say...
SMITH: ... you could have a harder time doing that...
GRACE: ... mistreatment of...
SMITH: ... than naming 10 NFL starting quarterbacks.
GRACE: Did I just hear Larry Smith, CNN sports correspondent and anchor, state that crimes on a dog are much worse than crimes on a woman? Did I hear that?
SMITH: I`m sorry. You -- I`m saying they could be. I`m not arguing for which is worse, which one is worse. I`m just saying that in terms of his visibility is much worse. His visibility is much worse than what Kobe Bryant`s is. Kobe Bryant is a superstar in the NBA, but at the same time, he plays in Los Angeles, which is a city full of stars. Michael Vick is the most visible person in the city of Atlanta, maybe ever in the history of Atlanta sports.
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MARTIN: This is Michael`s words. "Today in court I pleaded innocent to the allegations made against me. I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name. I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Billy Martin, the attorney for Michael Vick, NFL quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, missing day one of Falcon training.
Out to a special guest joining us tonight, Sergeant David Hunt with the Franklin County, Ohio, sheriff`s department. He is a dog fighting expert. He is appearing before you in shadow because he still is intent on infiltrating these extremely vicious dog fighting rings. Sergeant, thank you for being with us.
SGT. DAVID HUNT, FRANKLIN CO., OHIO, SHERIFF`S OFFICE: Thank you, Nancy.
GRACE: Sergeant, why is it so important that your face be hidden?
HUNT: We`ve been very proactive in these type of investigations since 2002. We`ve done probably over 40 search warrants, arrested over 65 dog fighters with over 50 convictions to date. So we`re still looking for some more.
GRACE: I`ve got a question. You`ve been to so many of these illegal canine fights to the death. Why do they have to kill the dog that loses, either hanging it or shooting it?
HUNT: Well, basically, it has no value from that point forward. Obviously, it can`t be used for breeding purposes if it`s a loser. There`s not a good likelihood it`ll become a winner. So there`s really no value left in the dog.
GRACE: What kind of people go to these events? I mean, I can`t even imagine watching dogs fight to the death with everybody cheering for them.
HUNT: What takes it to a whole other level is a lot of people are starting to bring their kids and grandkids to them now.
GRACE: Hey, you know what? I could have done all night without hearing that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I played with Michael since the beginning, so I support Michael, and I`m hoping that he can get through this tough ordeal. But the outlook isn`t the best right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that has nothing right now to do with football. For my friend, he has to get through this. This is a tough time in his life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has to go through his situation, due process, right now and in the courts. And hopefully, he`s back. But if not, we have to go on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those are some serious allegations, and it`s very disappointing for us. And I`m not saying we`re not going to think about it, you know? But at the same time, our main objective is to win ball games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Day one, training camp for the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Vick, their star quarterback, once the number-one draft pick in the NFL. Vick in a federal courthouse today pleading not guilty to charges he was instrumental in an underground dogfighting operation, canine fighting to the death.
I want to go out to Chuck Smith. I`m sure you all remember Chuck Smith, the former Atlanta Falcons star, an all-pro NFL analyst. Chuck, thank you for being with us. You have not only covered Vick, but are a personal friend of his. What was your first reaction when you heard about these charges?
CHUCK SMITH, NFL ANALYST: Well, my first reaction, it was surprise at the magnitude of this story. It wasn`t the fact that it actually happened. I`m a believer in this generation. I`m not surprised, whether it`s entertainment or sports, but I was surprised that the magnitude of these charges that came about when they released this stuff on Michael.
GRACE: What do you mean, you weren`t surprised when you heard about the charges, but you were surprised about the magnitude?
SMITH: Right. Nancy, come on. Give me a break. We just saw Pacman Jones literally dismantle the NFL by himself. We watched a guy get out of jail to go play in the Super Bowl. For God`s sake, we had a guy in Columbus, Maurice Clarett, literally gat it up, put on a bulletproof vest and four rifles. So it doesn`t surprise me, Nancy, that this happened at this day in time. It`s the Y generation, Nancy. Why in the world do they do what they do?
GRACE: Oh, you mean you`re not surprised that he is allegedly involved with dogfighting?
SMITH: No, I`m not surprised that in this event like this happened in a major sports league. I`m not surprised. I wasn`t surprised when the kid jumped up in the stands in Auburn Hills to fight in the NBA. I`m just not surprised, Nancy. Sports is just a microcosm of what`s happening in society. That`s why I`m not surprised that it`s a star NFL player. I was surprised.
GRACE: Well-put. Chuck Smith joining us, former Atlanta Falcons star, all-pro NFL analyst. Chuck, you have known Vick on and off the field. What is he like in person, when you have ever interviewed or spoken to him?
SMITH: You know what, Nancy? He`s an introvert, the classic introvert. He`s not a guy that`s going to make a lot of noise. And he`s not what we call quote, unquote, a "hell raiser." But, Nancy, let me just say this: I`m really surprised, and listening to a lot of folks keep saying that he`s the face of the city. I disagree. He`s the face of the team, but you have to be a part of the Atlanta community or a community to truly be the face. It has to be more than just getting in trouble here and there, allegedly, and also making touchdowns. To be a part of the fabric of the city, got to do a little more than just listen to the hype and believe what the organization is saying about you.
GRACE: What`s your advice to him right now?
SMITH: Listen to your lawyers. Listen to your lawyers, Mike. I mean, what else do you say, Nancy? Listen to your lawyers.
GRACE: Chuck Smith, we saw Kobe Bryant came out and give a presser.
GRACE: Now, as I recall, he didn`t answer any questions after that presser. He and his wife, gorgeous, gets up, leaves. They didn`t answer any questions. Can`t Vick hold it together for five minutes to give a presser, or would that totally screw up his defense?
SMITH: Well, Nancy, you`ve got to remember, difference between Kobe Bryant -- and let me elaborate. Kobe`s happened -- that was somewhat of a spur of the moment, something that happened in Colorado. Mike Vick, this is alleged over a five-, six-year period. You`d be smart not to say anything. This thing has a little more legs to it at this point than Kobe`s did at that presser.
GRACE: Chuck Smith, you`re an NFL-er. I`m Nancy Grace, trial lawyer. And the way I`m hearing you, the way I`m interpreting you is, it`s a heck of a lot easier to try to disprove that rape allegation when you`ve got one witness as opposed to this federal indictment. You seen this thing? It`s pages and pages and pages long, going to be a lot more difficult to disprove this.
SMITH: Well, it`s a fight that`s been going on. Obviously, we didn`t know about it, the Falcons didn`t know about it. Here`s the worst-kept secret right now in this whole issue. Mike Vick didn`t even know about it. So from that standpoint, I mean, it was a complete surprise to everyone involved.
GRACE: Are you telling me that, with the dogfighting facilities in his backyard, you think he didn`t know about it?
SMITH: Hey, Nancy, that`s what I`m saying. No one knew. I`m telling you, literally as of days ago, he thought he was going to be (INAUDIBLE) in training camp with Larry Brants (ph). Got a big surprise. But here`s the thing about it. When you see the feds start coming in and kind of they jumped over that Keystone Cop up there in Surrey County (ph), you had to realize that things were going to come down fast and hard.
GRACE: You know, once the feds get in the mix -- out to Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist and author, Lillian, Chuck just said something I find very interesting. I don`t have the understanding that you do to interpret it. He said Vick, introvert. How does that jibe with these allegations?
DR. LILLIAN GLASS, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, that`s kind of interesting, because, obviously, he`s seen him up close and personal and has interviewed him, but this is somebody that has a lot of inner rage. Not only is he sociopathic, in terms of this behavior, but there`s a lot of rage. This isn`t the first time he`s done something anti-social. He made obscene gestures to his fans. He`s done so many things, he`s had so many incidents in the past. So there`s a lot of inner rage that`s boiling up in him. And this is a very sadistic act.
GRACE: When you say "sadistic," explain.
GLASS: Well, very sadistic, I mean, anybody that can harm an animal, and not just kill the animal, which he did or which he`s alleged to do, but to torture the animal. This is obvious sadism and somebody who is very sick.
GRACE: Out to the lines, Melissa in Indiana, hi, Melissa.
CALLER: Hi. My question was, if he`s convicted, how much time will he receive?
GRACE: Good question. To Sandra Golden with 790 AM "The Zone," how much time is he looking at? According to my count, it`s six years.
SANDRA GOLDEN, SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST: Today in court, Nancy, they told him the maximum would be five years and $255,000. And that`s what the judge told him today.
GRACE: I wonder how the judge figured that. I had six years and $350,000.
GOLDEN: That`s what`s been reported as well up until it today.
GRACE: OK. OK. There`s your answer, Melissa.
Out to Angela in Indiana, hi, Angela.
CALLER: Hi, Nancy. My question is, in the evidence collection, has there been any kind of paperwork or registration certificates located, like from the ABDA or the UKC that could link Michael Vick and anyone else to these dogs? And if so, will they be indicted, as well?
GRACE: Well-put. Sandra, I know that he is forced to give up his breeder`s license today. I didn`t even know Vick had a dog breeding license. But do we know anything about the papers, the paper trail the feds have on him?
GOLDEN: I don`t know about the paper trail, but I do know that Michael Vick had a Web site up called mv9kennels.com, where you could go on and see all the dogs that he had. Arthur Blank addressed the media on Tuesday, and Arthur is the owner of the Atlanta Falcons. And he and the general manager, as well as the head coach, they all said, "We didn`t even know he had dogs," whereas this Web site existed.
GRACE: Out to Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S. Wayne, how often do you come across cases like this in the U.S.?
WAYNE PACELLE, HUMAN SOCIETY OF THE U.S.: Well, dogfighting is a national industry. I mean, this Mike Vick case has kind of moved something from the shadows to the limelight. We`ve heard on your program before, up to 40,000 active dogfighters. One of your other guest said 100,000 street fighters. There are kennels all across the country. You know, Bad Newz Kennels was one of them. And then one of your other guests just mentioned this other kennel that Vick had advertised on a Web site. This is an underground industry. They`re selling dogs from state to state. There`s even a vibrant trade to Europe and Russia of fighting dogs, which was the impetus for the federal legislation.
GRACE: I can`t believe that our government can`t catch the U.S. exporting duel-to-the-death dogs. Wayne, is it happening all over the country, or is it concentrated in certain regions?
PACELLE: The Humane Society of the United States was founded in the 1950s, and at that time it was predominantly a rural activity. In the last 10 or 20 years, it`s really surged in urban communities. There`s just an epidemic of pit bulls in urban communities. So you go to shelters, humane societies, animal control agencies in the cities, 30 percent to 70 percent of the dogs are pit bulls. It`s just an incredible number of animals.
GRACE: To Bobby Brown, director of the documentary "Off the Chain," he infiltrated these dogfighting rings, what is it like at an actual dogfight to the death?
BOBBY BROWN, DIRECTOR, "OFF THE CHAIN": Oh, it`s horrific. These two dogs are going at each other, and they`re locking and engaging. And they`re ripping each other apart. It`s just a terrible sight, and then the sound. I mean, they`re not making a sound, but you hear the dogs biting and crunching into the bones. It`s just a terrible, terrible sight.
GRACE: What are the people doing that are watching animals rip each other apart?
BROWN: They`re cheering, and they`re holding up money, betting. One person would say, "I`ve got $500 on the black dog." And another person will say, "I`ll take that bet."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, you all either heard or saw Michael take the first step toward proving his innocence. He asserted in a loud and clear voice that he is not guilty of these allegations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After he plead not guilty, there was no actual bond, no dollar amount set for him. Instead, the judge set several restrictions. Among them, the judge took away Michael Vick`s passport. The judge says Michael Vick cannot leave this part of eastern Virginia without permission, which means he couldn`t go back to Falcons training camp even if he wanted to. And, finally, they took away his dog breeding license.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Vick, in a federal courtroom today, pleading not guilty to charges he is part instrumental, as a matter of fact, in an underground dogfighting death match scheme, spanning seven states up and down the eastern seaboard. Out to the lawyers, Ray Giudice, Michael Mazzariello, what do you make, Ray, of the long line of defense attorneys introduced today on the courthouse steps?
RAY GIUDICE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they`re gearing up. Some of that`s local counsel who know the judge, know the courtroom, and know the juries. There`s some technical people who are going to deal with the conspiracy charges, which are pretty technical. You`ve probably got a sentencing guidelines person there. Martin has put together a great team, as I knew he would. You know, Michael is going to get excellent defense and excellent counsel.
And going back to your question about the statement, Michael Vick may make a statement at a time when he`s prepared, when Mr. Martin feels he`s properly prepared to do so, but not out in the street with protesters screaming and a lot of cameras. That would have been a mistake, and I wholeheartedly agree.
GRACE: Well, I certainly didn`t expect him to come out, as you say, amidst a lot protesters, booing, others cheering him, but as you saw the carefully and perfectly orchestrated statement by Kobe Bryant, you would think Vick may have done the same thing.
To Michael Mazzariello, do you think it`s really wise to show a phalanx of defense attorneys like this?
MICHAEL MAZZARIELLO, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, today wouldn`t be a bad idea. Like Ray said, Nancy, you`ve got to have everyone lined up here, local defense attorneys, someone that knows the guideline to conspiracy charge. Martin is a great attorney, Nancy, as you know. And I`m sure it will thin out as the trial progresses.
GRACE: I want to go back out to Sergeant David Hunt with the Franklin County, Ohio, sheriff`s department. You have been at so many of these dogfights, infiltrating it. What did you observe?
SGT. DAVID HUNT, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: In terms of the actual fight itself or...
HUNT: You know, it`s a very surreal atmosphere. It`s very festive. I hate to use that word, but there`s typically music, a lot of wagering, as the one gentleman said earlier. Alcohol is typically served, refreshments, things like that. It`s almost like a sporting event.
GRACE: You know, Mike Brooks, right now we know of four witnesses, as of yet unnamed, in this federal indictment. By the time this goes to trial, which is set for November, do you think they`ll end up ratting out other witnesses? Will there be more against Vick other than a paper trail? You know juries don`t like stacks and stacks of paper.
MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE: Right. No, I would be very surprised if there weren`t, Nancy. In fact, in the indictment, if you noticed, there are also lines in there of people known and unknown. And as they work this case, and as they start talking to these people, and they start rolling over on each other, and they start giving names, and places and times, you may see more arrests and you could see more charges.
GRACE: To Bobby Brown, director of the documentary "Off the Chain," he also infiltrated dogfighting rings. I heard through all of the investigation that at one juncture Michael Vick walks up with a bag of $23,000 in cash. That`s yet to be proven; that`s not been proven in a court of law. Have you seen the purses handed over at the dogfights? I mean, at the end of the dogfight, after you see a dog lying there, dead and bleeding, what does everybody do, just go home and watch TV like they saw nothing?
BROWN: As far as the purses are, I mean, they count the money out right in the pit before the fight, make sure all the money is right. The dogs are weighed, and then they`re bathed in milk to make sure there`s no poison or ground glass on their coats. Then, after that, they proceed with the match.
GRACE: Wow, could you believe what you saw, Bobby?
BROWN: No, it still burns a stain in my mind.
GRACE: That documentary, "Off the Chain," Bobby J. Brown and Wayne Pacelle with us, along with Sergeant David Hunt, all too familiar with these duel-to-the-death dogfighting rings. And right now, "CNN Heroes."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, look right into the camera.
LUIS ERNESTO ROMERO, "CNN HERO": I thought I`m going die at the age of 20 because somebody is going to shoot me. I was living as a gang member. And El Salvador kids get into the gangs because they don`t have no other opportunities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When you`re on the street, every moment you live, you live as if it were your last, because you never know how that day will end.
ROMERO: Something powerful come up when my daughter born. So I start like checking, "Hey, what am I doing?" Well, what I`m going to offer to my daughter? But then I find Homies Unidos in 1997, so I start like educating myself, and now, you know, I help others.
We teach them how to empower themselves, not smoking weed, not doing violence, not doing what they do. In El Salvador, the kids are much discriminated. If he have tattoos, if he bald-headed, but when he start looking for a job, they don`t give opportunity for him. We teach them how to do things in other ways. They never thought they going to have a bakery by their own. Now they have a bakery, and they`re doing their own business.
We think different. I mean, we don`t think going and doing violence, doing killings. We do other things. Homies saving a lot of lives. We come from gangs, and now we`re part of the solution. So it doesn`t matter how much I got to spend, how much time I got to be on it, but I need to do it for my kids and for the other kids of San Salvador.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRACE: Everyone, I want to interrupt the Vick coverage very quickly to give you an update on a young girl missing, Mahalia Xiong. Out to Mike Kemmeter with WHBY 1150 AM, what can you tell me about the missing student? I think I`ve got Mike Kemmeter with me. Mike, are you there?
OK, I`ll tell you what I know, Mike Brooks. Apparently, a car pulled out of the water matching tag to Mahalia Xiong`s. This is yet another Wisconsin student in the Green Bay area that has gone missing. What do you know, Mike?
BROOKS: That`s exactly right, Nancy. Apparently some officers on patrol noticed some tire tracks between two bridges that went right into the water, and that got their curiosity. They brought a tow truck out. The police there even notified her parents about what was going on and brought them to the scene, also.
GRACE: Now do we have Mike Kemmeter yet from 1150?
Mike, are you there?
MIKE KEMMETER, REPORTER: Yes. Yes, I am.
GRACE: What can you tell me, quickly?
KEMMETER: Well, Green Bay police found the car that was driven by 21- year-old missing UW Green Bay student Mahalia Xiong in the Fox River this afternoon. There was a body of a woman inside her white 1996 Mercury Sable that she was renting. Authorities thought don`t have a positive identification. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
GRACE: With me, Mike Kemmeter and Mike Brooks on missing Mahalia Xiong, Wisconsin student. We`ll bring you the rest of that report as soon as we get it.
But let`s stop to remember Army Specialist Roberto Causor, Jr., 21, San Jose, California, killed, Iraq. Wanted to enlist since age 4, joined the Army straight from Roxy (ph), awarded Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Defense Medal. A military war buff, he loved basketball, soccer and dancing. Favorite food, enchiladas. Leaves behind parents, Roberto, Maria, grandpa, Zenida (ph), cousin, Maggie, and girlfriend, pregnant with first child. Roberto Causor, American hero.
Thank you for being with us and inviting us into your homes. A special good night to friends of the show, high-profile Chicago lawyer John Senege (ph), his wife, Peggy. Here there are with Heidi, their dog. And they`re guilty. They smuggle Heidi into restaurants all over town and give her treats under the table.
And also tonight, a very happy birthday to two special friends of the show, Shorty and Dorothy in Watertown, South Dakota.
Everyone, I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, good night, friend.