MOSCOW (AP) — Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner on Monday filed an appeal against her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, Russian news agencies reported Monday.
Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted on Aug. 4. She was arrested in February at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after vape canisters containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.
Griner played for a women’s basketball team in Yekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason.
Lawyer Maria Blagovolina was quoted by Russian news agencies on Monday as saying the appeal was filed, but the grounds of the appeal weren’t immediately clear.
Blagovolina and co-counsel Alexander Boykov said after the conviction that the sentence was excessive and that in similar cases defendants have received an average sentence of about five years, with about a third of them granted parole.
Griner admitted that she had the canisters in her luggage, but said she had inadvertently packed them in haste and that she had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented written statements that she had been prescribed cannabis to treat pain.
Before her conviction, the U.S. State Department declared Griner to be “wrongfully detained.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the unusual step of revealing publicly in July that the U.S. had made a “substantial proposal” to get Griner home home, along with Paul Whelan, an American serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.
Blinken didn’t elaborate, but The Associated Press and other news organizations have reported that Washington has offered to free Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year sentence in the U.S. and once earned the nickname the “Merchant of Death.”
On Sunday, a senior Russian diplomat said exchange talks have been conducted.
“This quite sensitive issue of the swap of convicted Russian and U.S. citizens is being discussed through the channels defined by our presidents,” Alexander Darchiev, head of the Foreign Ministry’s North America department, told state news agency Tass. “These individuals are, indeed, being discussed. The Russian side has long been seeking the release of Viktor Bout. The details should be left to professionals, proceeding from the ‘do not harm’ principle.’”
VIDEO: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Safety Chris Izien Talks 27-17 Win Over Chicago Bears
TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie safety Chris Izien spoke with the press following the Buccaneers’ 10-point win over the Chicago Bears Sunday.
Izien, who made a clutch interception late in Sunday’s match, is already making history early in his career. With his previous interception in the Buccaneers 20-17 win at Minnesota last week, Izien is one of only four players in the NFL who have multiple interceptions already, prior to the games on Monday night.
Video by Todd Grasley, Florida National News Tampa
VIDEO: Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea on Chicago Bears Victory
TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers veteran defensive tackle Vita Vea talks 21-17 win over the Chicago Bears Sunday.
Video by Todd Grasley, Florida National News Tampa reporter
Jaguars Fall to Chiefs 17-9
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Florida National News) – The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) lost to the Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) in their first home game of the season at the newly renamed EverBank Stadium. The Jags also lost to the Chiefs in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs to end last season. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce returned to the field after missing week one with a knee injury. Jaguars RB JaMycal Hasty did not play today, as he was on the inactive list with an unspecified injury.
On the first drive of the game, QB Trevor Lawrence surpassed 8,000 passing yards for his career. He’s currently in fifth place all-time in team history, behind Byron Leftwich’s 9,042 yards. The first scoring drive of the game ended with a 32 yard K Brandon McManus field goal a couple of minutes into the second quarter, putting the Jags up 3-0. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes had the first touchdown pass of the game, with a 9 yard completion to WR Skyy Moore, followed by a K Harrison Butker extra point, to put the Chiefs up 7-3 with just 27 seconds before halftime. The Jaguars made the most of the time remaining, setting up Brandon McManus to add a 49 yard field goal, narrowing their deficit to 7-6 at the half.
In the third quarter, Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the end zone for a 9 yard touchdown pass. Harrison Butker added the extra point, to put the Chiefs ahead 14-6.
The Jaguars early 4th quarter scoring drive ended with a 22 yard Brandon McManus field goal, to make the score 14-9. Harrison Butker later added a 38 yard field goal putting the Chiefs up 17-9.
Trevor Lawrence finished with 216 yards but no touchdowns. Travis Etienne Jr. led the Jaguars’ rushing with 40 yards. Christian Kirk was the leading receiver with 110 yards.
Today’s attendance was 69,615. The Houston Texans will be in Jacksonville Sunday, 9/24, to face the Jags. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Be sure to follow www.FloridaSportsChannel.com and www.FloridaNationalNews.com for more.
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