Michael Vick appeared in a Richmond, Va., court Tuesday to enter a guilty plea on state dogfighting charges in an attempt to get out of jail early.
The former star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons was convicted on a federal dogfighting charge in August 2007. Authorities discovered more than 50 pit bulls, burial sites for dead dogs, and dogfighting paraphernalia.
Vick, 28, has been serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kan. He was given a three-year suspended sentence.
“I want to apologize to the court, my family, and to all the kids who looked up to me as a role model,” Vick told the judge on Tuesday.
The dogs rescued from Vick’s estate became the center of one of the most publicized stories of 2007. A team of experts from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah worked with dogs to rehabilitate them and curb aggressive behavior to help them live peacefully with people and other dogs.