WNBA star Griner pleads guilty to disorderly conduct in Phoenix

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 29, 2015 3:26 PM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - U.S. women's basketball star Brittney Griner has pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and will undergo counseling after being arrested with her fellow WNBA player fiancée following a fight at their Phoenix home, police said on Wednesday.

Griner, a standout player with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury team, and Glory Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, were arrested a week ago after both 24-year-olds suffered minor injuries in what a police report described as "mutual combat."

Police were called to the couple's home by Johnson's sister, who said the two women were "throwing things at each other" in the living room of the home.

Griner entered a guilty plea to disorderly conduct on Tuesday at municipal court in the western Phoenix suburb of Goodyear where the couple lives, said Goodyear Police Department spokeswoman Lisa Kutis.

Under the terms of the plea deal, the charges will be dismissed if the player attends 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling classes, Kutis said.

The case against Johnson remains under review by authorities, her attorney Howard Snader, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Griner told the first officer on the scene last week that the couple had engaged in a four-to-six minute fracas. Both suffered minor lacerations, and Griner's left middle finger was bitten.

Griner told the officer the couple had been arguing every day due to the stress of recently buying the home together and over planning their wedding.

Griner apologized for the incident in a statement released through her attorney on Tuesday.

"It is never okay for an argument to turn physical," she said. "This will never happen again, and I take my relationship and my responsibility as a role model seriously. I am committed to making positive changes."

Griner was a WNBA all-star twice and an All-American at Baylor three times. The 6-foot-8-inch (2.03-meter) star was voted most outstanding player of the Final Four in 2012, when Baylor won the national championship.

Johnson, who is 6 foot 3 inches (1.91 meter), was a WNBA all-star in 2014.

A WNBA spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)