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Griner released, Michigan-native Whelan remains in Russian prison

Paul Whelan is serving a prison sentence in Russia for alleged espionage

Amid lingering doubts the family of Paul Whelan is trying to stay optimistic that a deal for his release can be reached with Russian authorities.

The Michigan-native is serving a long prison sentence in Russia for espionage, a charge Whelan and the State Department both deny.

Speaking on CNN, David Whelan says his family was told Wednesday night that WNBA star Brittney Griner was coming home but his brother would not be.

“I think it's become clear that the US doesn't have any concessions that the Russian government wants for Paul and so I'm not really sure I'm not really sure what the future holds” – David Whelan on CNN

Griner was convicted of a drug charge in Russia earlier this year. She was exchanged for a Russian arms dealer.

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