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Former US Marine Sentenced to 9 Years in Russian Prison

Trevor Reed says he's not guilty
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 11:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Former US Marine Trevor Reed drank too much vodka at a farewell party in Moscow last summer. Now, he might not be saying farewell to the country until 2029. A Russian court sentenced the Texan to nine years in prison Thursday for allegedly attacking a police officer, just short of the maximum sentence prosecutors had asked for, NBC News reports. Reed, 29, says he has no memory of the events that led to the charge. He spent the summer of 2019 in Moscow, visiting his Russian girlfriend and learning the language. According to a website set up by his family, Reed was encouraged to drink numerous toasts at the party and "became nauseated and wanted to get out of the vehicle" while sharing a ride home with his girlfriend and other partygoers.

After he "started running around near a busy boulevard late at night," one of his girlfriend's co-workers called police and left the scene, the family says. Police say they arrested him as he argued with two women—and while being transported to the police station, he attacked the driver, hit another officer, and caused the car to swerve. He was charged with "using violence to endanger the life or health of a government official performing his duties." Reed's family, however, says video evidence shows the car didn't swerve, the Washington Post reports. His girlfriend says she was following the police car—and observed that not only did it not swerve, Reed was asleep in the back seat. In his trial's closing arguments Wednesday, Reed, who has been in custody since the August 2019 incident, said he refused to plead guilty to a crime he didn't commit. (Read more Russia stories.)

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