Former NFL star quarterback Michael Vick has pleaded guilty to a state dogfighting charge in Virginia in a bid to make him eligible for early release from jail.
The 28-year-old Vick pleaded guilty to one charge and not guilty to a second count involving torturing or killing animals. The second count was dropped.
Vick was given a three-year suspended sentence. The plea could potentially speed his return to the NFL.
Federal law prohibits prisoners from being released to a halfway house if there are unresolved charges pending.
Vick was expressionless throughout the brief hearing. He told the judge he apologized to his family and to children who looked up to him as a role model.
Vick has been serving a 23-month sentence in Leavenworth, Kansas, for a federal dogfighting conviction. He's scheduled for release on July 20, 2009, and will serve three years' probation.