National Football League star Michael Vick has been warned he could face five years in jail, after formally admitting his part in a dog fighting operation.
Michael Vick could face up to five years in jail
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback will be sentenced on 10 December, and District Judge Henry Hudson warned that he was not bound by sentencing guidelines.
"You'll have to live with whatever decision I make," the judge said.
Vick, 27, was accused of helping to run an interstate operation known as Bad Newz Kennels from 2001 to April 2007.
Prosecutors said the dogs sometimes fought to the death and underperforming animals had been shot, drowned, hanged, electrocuted or killed by being slammed to the ground.
In a press conference after his court appearance, Vick promised to redeem himself.
"I want to apologise for all the things that I have done and I have allowed to happen," he said.
The football star signed a 10-year $130m (£65m) contract with the Falcons in 2004, but has now been suspended indefinitely without pay by the NFL.