After over a month of courtroom hearings, a decide handed down the decision for WNBA star Brittney Griner’s drug case on Thursday (August 4), CNN studies.
Brittney Griner, 31, was discovered responsible of drug smuggling with felony intent. She has been sentenced to 9 years in jail.
Griner arrived at a Moscow courthouse handcuffed and was taken into the defendant’s cage by Russian authorities for her final courtroom listening to on Thursday.
As soon as uncuffed, she held up an image of the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball staff, the squad she performed for in Russia through the WNBA offseason.
“I wish to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers and the town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist mentioned in courtroom Thursday.
“I wish to additionally apologize to my dad and mom, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at dwelling, the wonderful girls of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner again at dwelling.”
Russian prosecutors requested the courtroom for 9.5 years of jail time as closing arguments for the case have been heard Thursday.
Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina argued that the Phoenix Mercury guard by no means used marijuana in Russia and by no means meant to.
The 31-year-old professional basketball participant solely used medical marijuana at dwelling in Arizona, the place it was authorized, and solely by prescription of a physician, Blagovolina added throughout closing arguments.
Griner couldn’t have recognized how strict Russian legal guidelines have been, the lawyer mentioned.
The decision and sentencing comes almost six months after Griner was first detained in Russia. On February 17, Russian authorities took her into custody after allegedly discovering vape catridges with cannibis oil in her bag at Moscow airport.
Griner’s trial started on July 1, and since then, the WNBA star pleaded responsible to drug prices, admitting to unintentionally bringing hashish into the nation. She faces as much as 10 years in jail for the Russian offense.
The U.S. State Division maintains Griner is wrongfully detained, and the Biden administration has proposed a prisoner swap to safe her launch, per CNN.
Final week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the U.S. authorities had put a “substantial proposal on the desk” to deliver Griner again to the U.S “weeks in the past.”
A senior White Home official informed CNN that the proposal was to change convicted Russian arms supplier Viktor Bout for Griner and jailed American Paul Whelan.
This story is growing and can be up to date.
Get the most recent information 24/7 on The Black Data Community. Hear now on the iHeartRadio app or click on HERE to tune in stay.