Brittney Griner’s seemingly endless days in court have finally yielded some results.
The WNBA player has pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Russian court near Moscow but denied she intentionally broke the law.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor,” Griner quietly said in English before the court translated it to Russian. “But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.”
“I’d like to give my testimony later,” she then said as her next court hearing is scheduled for July 14. “I need time to prepare.”
Griner’s lawyer Alexander Boykov told reporters that despite the guilty plea, they’re hoping the consequences aren’t too harsh, even though CNN confirms that she could face up to 10 years behind bars.
“She’s a responsible person, and she admitted that it was hers, but she said that it was unintentionally brought to Russia because she was in a hurry as she was packing, and it was just by accident,” Boykov said.
The wrongful detention began in February amid the WNBA offseason when Griner -like many of her WNBA sistren- traveled to play abroad to supplement their low income from the American league. While en route to play for her Russian team UMMC Yekaterinburg, she was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport after security alleged they found vape cartridges containing 0.7 grams of hashish oil. The substance is illegal in Russia, so she was jailed, and months later, the US State Department acknowledged that she was wrongfully detained as the Biden Administration fights to bring her back home.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S government,” the State Department said in a statement back in May. “The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner. “The U.S. government will continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner.”