(WJBK) - A Detroit family waiting on pins and needles for a court decision on their son got it - but it wasn't close to what they were hoping for.
Wendell Brown was a former football player turned coach, who was teaching the sport in China to kids. Early Thursday morning he was sentenced to four years in jail by a Chinese court system for his part in a bar fight. He said he will appeal the decision.
It is unclear if Brown will receive credit for the nearly two years time served, or if the four-year sentence will be added on to his current imprisonment.
One night at a bar, a fight started and he defended himself as bottles were being thrown at him. He claimed self-defense in court. Video supported that claim and the U.S. Department of State also stands behind Brown in that assessment.
In February, the State Department released a statement on the case saying:
"The Department of State takes seriously its obligation to assist US citizens arrested abroad. The US Consulate in Chengdu, China has been providing consular assistance including monthly consular visits to Mr. Brown since he was detained. We continue to monitor his case closely. We last visited him on January 19, 2018."
Brown has been held in jail since Sept. 24, 2016.
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"It is just unfair," said his mother Antionette Brown-King back in February. "And it is clearly wrong to have a man sit that long (with) no answer. It is devastating to us all."