Cyntoia Brown walked into jail as a teen 15 years ago, expecting her life to end there
Wednesday morning, now 31, she walked out a free woman from the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville before sunrise
Cyntoia Denise Brown, in prison for murder, had her life sentence commuted by then Tennessee Gov Bill Haslam in Jan after celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna rallied for her release
She will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she holds a job and does not violate any laws
Brown said she was a sex trafficking victim when she shot dead real estate agent Johnny Allen in 2004 when she was just 16
She shot Allen in the back of the head at close range after he picked her up at a drive-in restaurant in Nashville to have sex with her
Brown has maintained she feared for her life and thought he was going to kill her
Prosecutors had argued during her trial that she killed Allen in order to rob him because she fled in his truck with two of his rifles and $172
In July 2008, the appellate court upheld the ‘harsh sentence’ of life in prison for first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery by the lower court
She would have served 15 years on release and was eligible for parole in 2055, after 51 years
Brown earned her GED and completed an associate degree program with a 4.0 GPA in prison
She also completed her bachelor’s degree program in May, 2019
The 31-year-old walked out of Tennessee Prison for Women before sunrise on Wednesday following a clemency grant by former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam after celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna rallied for her release.
Brown, who shot dead real estate agent Johnny Allen in 2004, will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she holds a job and does not violate any laws.
In a statement following her release, Brown said she wants to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.
‘I thank Governor and First Lady Haslam for their vote of confidence in me and with the Lord’s help I will make them as well as the rest of my supporters proud,’ she said.
Her attorneys said she is requesting privacy and transition time before she makes herself available to the public.
Brown said she was a sex trafficking victim at the time she killed Allen.
Tennessee woman serving life sentence on a teenage felony conviction granted clemency by Tennessee gov, Monday Cyntoia Denise Brown, in prison for murder, had her life […]
Cyntoia Brown’s conviction was as a result of shooting death of 43-year-old Nashville man, Johnny Allen (above), in 2004 when she was a teen prostitute. She was granted full clemency after serving 12 years in prison
In 2004 16-year-old Brown was sentenced to serve a life time in jail in 2004, eligible for parole after 51 years
Brown was granted full clemency after serving 12 years in prison for the 2004 shooting death of 43-year-old Nashville man, Johnny Allen, when she was a prostitute
She was convicted in 2006 of first-degree murder and was originally ordered to serve at least 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Brown had run away from home at the time and linked up with a man known as ‘Cut Throat,’ who she said later became her pimp. She said that man trafficked her, beat, raped and plied her with drugs on a near-daily basis.
She encountered Allen after he picked her up at a drive-in restaurant in Nashville so he could have sex with her.
Brown said Allen insisted on taking her back to his house after saying he was an ex-Army sharpshooter and showing off his firearms.
She has previously said his behavior made her nervous and that he ‘grabbed’ her forcefully between her legs while they were on his bed.
‘He just gave me this look. It was, like, a very fierce look,’ she said in a 2011 documentary based on her incarceration.
‘But then, he rolls over, like he’s reaching to the side of the bed or something. So I’m thinking, ‘he’s not going to hit me, he’s going to get a gun’.’
Brown has maintained she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range with a gun she had in her purse because he kept reaching under the bed and she thought he was going for a weapon.
After she shot him, Brown took two of Allen’s rifles, stole $172 and fled in his truck.
Prosecutors had argued during her trial that the teenager killed Allen in order to rob him.
‘When I was 16-years-old, I did a very horrible thing, and that has been with me for a very long time,’ she said during her trial.
‘He didn’t deserve to die. I was wrong. I was wrong. And I can’t fix it.’
Her case drew the attention of Hollywood stars, including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna.
In the lead up to his clemency decision in January, Gov. Haslam’s office was inundated with letters and pleas urging him to show Brown mercy.
Several Democratic Tennessee lawmakers also held events calling for Haslam to offer mercy.
Cyntoia Brown admitted to killing her John, 43-year-old Johnny Allen, in 2004 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a 16-year-old prostitute at the time.
Brown said the real estate agent had picked her up, then took her to his home for sex.
Brown has maintained she killed Allen because he kept reaching under the bed and she thought he was going for a weapon and was going to shoot her.
Afterward, she stole two of Allen’s rifles and $172 cash from the dead man him, before fleeing the homed in his truck.
While Brown’s supporters claim that at the time she was with a violent pimp who beat her, forced her to work the streets and would allow his friends to rape her, an investigator from the Nashville police department however, said the crime scene and his investigation told a different story.
Detective Charles Robinson said Allen was found with his hands clasped under him on the bed. ‘He [allen], was asleep, basically,’ Robinson said.
Gunshot residue showed Allen had been shot in the back of the head at close range and the shooter brought a loaded gun so she could rob the man.
But defense attorneys argued their client was a sex-trafficking victim and feared for her life.
Brown was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. She was ordered to serve at least 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
In January 2018, then Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted Brown clemency, following mounting public pressure from a host of activists like kim kardashian West, and Rihanna
The lead detective who worked the murder case was among those who urged the Governor against a clemency grant.
Charles Robinson, a homicide detective with the Metropolitan Nashville Police, in his seven-page letter to Haslam in 2017 stated: ‘At the beginning of this investigation, I considered the possibility that Cyntoia Brown was justified in killing Johnny Allen,’ Robinson said. Adding, ‘At the conclusion of this investigation my findings were that she was not justified in killing Mr Allen and her only motivation for the murder was robbery.’
Kim Kardashian West tweeted ‘Thank you Governor Haslam’ after clemency was granted back in January