Prayer vigil held for Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner in New York City

The court said the WNBA star will be in custody for another 6 months while the trial is being held.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:52 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Brittney Griner has been in custody in Russia since February after officials say that they found vape cartridges of cannabis in her luggage.

Earlier this week, a Russian court set her trial date for Friday, July 1. The court said the WNBA star will be in custody for another 6 months while the trial is being held. The U.S. has declared her holding “wrongfully detained”, and dozens gathered with Griner’s sister and friends in a prayer vigil held outside the Russian consulate in New York City.

“Feburary 17 was the day the last time I talked to my sister,” Griner’s sister said at the vigil. “I haven’t talked to her. And it hurts.” Other participants in the vigil carried a banner that said “Free Brittney Griner”. Another speaker said, “She is an American citizen. She’s away from her family. We do not want to be a token in a political fight that we had nothing to do with.”

Griner’s friends and family say being unable to communicate with her and that the uncertainty of the situation is “inhumane”. She could face up to 10 years in prison if she’s convicted. Approximately less than 1% of all criminal cases in Russia are acquitted.