The Glory Johnson-Brittney Griner saga has taken another turn.
Johnson’s attorney said Wednesday that she has entered a not guilty plea in the domestic violence case involving fellow WNBA star Griner.
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Johnson and Griner were arrested on April 22 at their home in Goodyear, Arizona, on misdemeanor charges of assault and domestic violence disorderly conduct. Prosecutors in both Goodyear and Maricopa County, Arizona, did not file charges against Johnson.
Brian Russo, Johnson’s attorney, said that he didn’t expect further charges to be filed. After about a month, Russo said the prosecutor in Surprise, Arizona, filed the charges.
Russo said there is no new evidence, and it’s unusual for charges to be filed when two previous jurisdictions have chosen not to proceed. He’s not sure if it will go to trial, but he won’t mind if it does.
"Based on the evidence that I’ve seen, I’d be happy to go to trial," he said. "I’m even more confident in that decision because two previous attorneys who are prosecutors and have been prosecutors for a long time, also turned it down."
After the county dismissed charges, the case was sent back to Goodyear police, who forwarded it to the Goodyear prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor decided it was a conflict of interest to pursue both the Griner and Johnson cases, because the accused is the victim in the other case. So Surprise, a nearby city of comparable size, was chosen to review the case to determine if charges should be brought.
In court documents, the assault charge accuses Johnson of "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury" to Griner. The domestic violence disorderly conduct charge accuses Johnson of "engaging in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior, with the intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person."
A pre-conference hearing is set for Aug. 19 in Goodyear Municipal Court.
Griner pleaded guilty to the same charges and agreed to a diversion counseling program. The charges will be dropped if she successfully completes the requirements.
Griner and Johnson were married on May 9, three weeks after they were arrested. Griner filed for an annulment on June 5, a day after Johnson announced she’s pregnant. She is not playing this season for Tulsa because she is pregnant; Griner is currently playing for Phoenix.
Both players were suspended seven games by the WNBA after their arrests. Griner has served her suspension, and has been voted an All-Star starter by the fans. Johnson will serve her suspension next season.