May 20, 2009 / 5:16 PM / 8 years ago

Disgraced Vick released from prison

<p>Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pauses during a statement to the press at a hotel in Richmond, Virginia in this August 27, 2007, file photo. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File</p>

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Disgraced former National Football League star Michael Vick was released from prison on Wednesday after serving a 23-month sentence for dogfighting, a spokeswoman for the U.S. federal prisons said.

Vick left Leavenworth medium security prison in Kansas early on Wednesday, according to spokeswoman Traci Billingsley.

He was to travel to his home in Hampton, Virginia, where he would begin a period of supervised home confinement, according to media reports.

The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty in 2007 and was convicted of conspiracy charges in an interstate dogfighting enterprise on another of his properties in rural Virginia.

The case made national headlines and generated debate about dogfighting and the animal cruelty associated with it. Vick was also vilified as a fallen sporting hero.

Vick was the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft and a three-time All-Pro quarterback with the Falcons. His lawyers say he would like to play professionally again.

Reporting by Matthew Bigg, editing by Jim Loney

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