Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner Sentenced to 9 Years in Russian Prison

A Russian court has sentenced WNBA star, Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison, an expected conclusion to her trial, which would open up negotiations for a prisoner swap to accelerate.

It would be recalled that Griner was arrested February 17th for bringing drugs into the country. According to sources close to her, she had been prepared for a harsh sentence.

However, she and her supporters have also been aware that Russia was not going to move forward with a trade that could bring her home until her trial was completed.

A guilty verdict was considered a foregone conclusion, and Griner pleaded guilty July 7, though the case continued under Russian law.

During sentencing, Judge Anna Sotnikova said she had found that Griner intentionally broke the law and also fined her 1 million rubles (about $16,700). Sotnikova said the time Griner has served in custody since her arrest in February would count toward the sentence.

Griner reacted to the sentence with little emotion, listening to the verdict with a blank stare on her face.

As she was led out of court, Griner said: “I love my family.”

The 9-year sentence was close to the maximum of 10 years that Griner had faced under the charges, and prosecutors had asked for a 9½-year sentence.

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