Trevor Reed Appeal Remanded to Russian Court

Trevor Reed Appeal Remanded to Russian Court
Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed in a defendants' cage in Moscow in July 2020. Image by Dimitar Dilkoff, AFP via Getty Images

An appeal for Trevor Reed, an imprisoned Marine in Russia, has been remanded, or sent back, to a lower court. The session was held on Tuesday at the Second Court of General Cassation in Moscow.

The court hearing for 30-year-old Reed, a native of Granbury, Texas, was only to determine if he had been given and fair and just trial in his 2020 verdict.

Reed has been jailed in Russia since July 2019 after he reportedly assaulted two Moscow police officers who were transporting him to a local jail. He had been picked up after becoming intoxicated at a party while visiting his girlfriend.

After Reed’s appeal was sent back to lower courts, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, opposed the decision, citing Reed’s innocence and continued imprisonment.

“His appeal was not decided today, the proceedings continue, and Trevor remains in jail for a crime he didn’t commit,” Sullivan wrote.

One year after being arrested, Reed was convicted of assault and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison. His appeal of the sentence last year was rejected, at which point he was transported to a prison camp in Mordovia, approximately 350 miles away from Moscow.

Reed’s parents, Joey and Paula Reed, have remained determined to keep the story in the public eye. Last month, the couple stood in front of a Veterans Administration Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, to get the attention of President Joe Biden, who was visiting veterans.

After a delay in receiving any contact from President Biden besides a brief phone call, the couple protested in front of the White House before eventually speaking with Biden.

Reed’s family remains deeply concerned about his health, with his mother expressing that he “looked terrible” after she viewed an image taken from Tuesday’s court proceeding. In February, Reed indicated to his family that he was coughing up blood and had extended exposure to a fellow prisoner suffering from tuberculosis.

Reed’s case mirrors that of another imprisoned American, Paul Whelan, an auto parts corporate security executive convicted of espionage-related charges after his December 2018 arrest. Despite the belief by U.S. officials and Whelan’s family that the charges against him were fabricated, he received a 16-year prison sentence.

The timing of the two arrests has caused American officials to strongly suspect that the pair were arrested for facilitating a prisoner exchange. Two prominent Russians currently imprisoned in the United States who could be possible trade considerations are alleged drug smuggler Konstantin Yaroshenko and arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Joey Reed expressed the belief that negotiations will have to continue to bring his son home and noted the likelihood of a prisoner exchange.

“Realistically, the only way he is coming home any time soon is a negotiation between governments,” Joey Reed said on Dallas station WFAA. “They’ve taken him for trade and that’s what they want.”

Any negotiations that may take place come at a time when relations between the United States and Russia are at a low point due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s unclear whether that conflict will end up delaying any conclusion to the cases of Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, as well as currently imprisoned WNBA player Britney Griner.

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