Brittney Griner has pled guilty to drug charges in Russian court on July 7.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” she said in court, according to Reuters.
“I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare,” she added.
She is facing up to 10 years in prison. Her lawyer Alexander Boykov told reporters that he is hoping she gets a lenient sentence.
Brittney Griner was detained after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were found in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Hashish oil is illegal in Russia.
The 31-year-old wrote a letter to president Joe Biden, which he received on July 4. A portion of the letter reads:
As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever. On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.
After receiving her letter, Biden and vice president Kamala Harris spoke with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, via telephone.
During the call, Biden wanted “to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world.”
The next court hearing is July 14.
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