Nike postponed the release of his shoe, Reebok has stopped selling his jersey and more ominously one of his co-defendants will cop a plea:
Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va., has a plea agreement hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday in the U.S. District Court in Richmond before Judge Henry E. Hudson. Meanwhile, court records show a sealed order signed by Hudson was issued in the case Friday, which might or might not be related to Taylor’s plea.
The plea hearing could mean that Taylor, who pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday, has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors. Vick and the two other co-defendants in his case also pleaded not guilty Thursday.
“This could be very bad news for Vick,” said Steven D. Benjamin, a veteran criminal defense attorney from Richmond who has represented many clients before Hudson. “If he is pleading guilty, he is cooperating with the government.”
Taylor could get a lighter sentence through a plea deal.
“Whoever is the first in line gets the best deal,” said Michael Morchower, a former federal prosecutor and now a Richmond criminal defense attorney who has also represented defendants before Hudson.
“That’s the problem with co-defendants. They are going to want to save themselves. And the government wants cooperation. And the person who cooperates first gets the biggest reward.”
Taylor’s attorney could not be reached for comment Friday night. And a spokesman for Vick did not respond to a telephone call for comment. Federal prosecutors have declined to discuss the case.