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By Tim McGlone
The Virginian-Pilot
© October 21, 2008

Michael Vick plans to plead guilty to state dogfighting charges in an effort to get an early release from federal prison and enter a halfway house, according to papers filed in Surry County Circuit Court.

If the plea deal goes as planned, it would help Vick overcome several obstacles in his goal to return to professional football next year.

Vick’s attorneys filed papers in the Circuit Court seeking permission to let Vick plead guilty via video-conference call from the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan., where he is serving a two-year term for dog fighting.

The papers say that Vick needs to resolve his state charges before he can be eligible for entry into a halfway house. Vick’s scheduled release date is July 20 and the soonest he could enter a program is six months before that.

No court date has been set officially, but the Surry County Court next convenes on Nov. 5.

Surry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter has not been available for comment so far today.