PHOENIX — Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner will spend at least another month in a Russian jail, her attorney said Friday.
But Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly said he's feeling better about how Griner's case is being handled here in the U.S.
Here's what we know:
Lawyer: Trial could be imminent
Video showed Griner walking briskly out of a brief court hearing Friday in Moscow. Her head was covered by an orange hoodie, her hands were cuffed.
Griner's Russian attorney, Alexander Boykov, told The Associated Press he thinks the relatively short extension indicated that Griner's case would go to trial soon.
Back in February, Griner was detained at the Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were allegedly found in her luggage. Griner could face a maximum 10 years in prison.
The 31-year-old Griner, one of the best female basketball players in the world, did not express "any complaints about the detention conditions," Boykov said.
The Mercury star's agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, tweeted that Griner's team expects the government "to use all options available to immediately and safely bring Brittney home."
Kelly: I feel better about case
Sen. Mark Kelly told reporters after a campaign appearance Friday that he'd been in frequent contact with the U.S. State Department about the Griner case. Kelly said a 45-minute meeting Thursday gave him a bit more hope.
"It is being worked on. I feel better about it today than I did a week ago," Kelly said.
But he declined to provide any details.
"Let me just leave it at that," he said. "These are sensitive conversations."
Last week, the U.S. government reclassified Griner as "wrongfully detained" by the Russian government, allowing American officials to be more aggressive in their efforts to secure her release.
Richardson Now Working On Release
There's a new player on Griner's team: high-profile negotiator Bill Richardson, who recently helped win the release of a Marine veteran from a Russian prison.
The former New Mexico governor and U.N. ambassador helped secure Trevor Reed's release last month in a prisoner swap. Reed had served three years of a nine-year sentence for assaulting an officer.
A spokesman for the Santa Fe-based Richardson Center told 12 News via email: "We are working on behalf of Brittney's family to secure her safe return. Due to ongoing efforts and sensitivities, we are focused on the work and are unable to discuss it at this time."
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