Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Cyntoia Brown walks free after serving 15 years of a life sentence for killing man who bought her for sex when she was 16 following clemency grant by Tennessee governor after celebrities including Kim Kardashian rallied for her release

Tennessee woman Cyntoia Brown has been released from prison after serving 15 years of a life sentence for murdering a man who bought her for sex when she was 16-years-old.  
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. 
Cyntoia Brown, pictured in 2018, walked out of Tennessee Prison for Women early Wednesday after serving 15 years of a life sentence for murdering a man who bought her for sex when she was 16
Cyntoia Brown, pictured in 2018, walked out of Tennessee Prison for Women early Wednesday after serving 15 years of a life sentence for murdering a man who bought her for sex when she was 16

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. 
Brown was granted full clemency after serving 12 years in prison for the 2004 shooting death of 43-year-old Nashville man, Johnny Allen (above), when she was a prostitute
Brown was granted full clemency after serving 12 years in prison for the 2004 shooting death of 43-year-old Nashville man, Johnny Allen (above), 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, who was 16 when she 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. She is pictured in 2018 prior to her release
Brown, who was 16 when she 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. She is pictured in 2018 prior to her release 
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted Cyntoia Brown clemency in January
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted Cyntoia Brown clemency in January
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.  
Brown in her mugshot in 2004
Brown in court in 2006
Brown (left in her mugshot and right in court in 2006) was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 shooting

THE MURDER CYNTOIA BROWN COMMITTED 

Cyntoia Brown admitted to killing 43-year-old Nashville man, Johnny Allen, in 2004 when she was a 16-year-old prostitute.
Brown said the real estate agent had picked her up and 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 took two of Allen's rifles, stole $172 from him and fled in his truck.
Brown's supporters have said that at the time she was with a violent pimp who beat her, forced her to work the streets and allowed his friends to rape her.
But a Nashville police detective said the crime scene and his investigation told a different story. He said Allen was found with his hands clasped under him on the bed.
'He was asleep, basically,' Detective Charles Robinson said.
He said gunshot residue showed Allen had been shot in the back of the head at close range and that Brown brought a loaded gun so she could rob the man.
Her lawyers maintain she was a sex-trafficking victim and feared for her life.
Brown was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder. She was ordered to serve at least 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
She was granted clemency in January by then-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.  

The lead detective who worked the murder case was among those who urged the Governor against a clemency grant. 
'At the beginning of this investigation, I considered the possibility that Cyntoia Brown was justified in killing Johnny Allen,' wrote Charles Robinson - a homicide detective with the Metropolitan Nashville Police - in his seven-page letter to Haslam in 2017. 
'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.' 
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against life-without-parole sentences for juveniles but the state of Tennessee had argued successfully in lower courts that Brown's sentence was not in violation of federal law because she would be eligible for parole after serving at least 51 years.
Haslam said that was too harsh a condition for a crime Brown admitted to committing as a teen, especially given the steps she has taken to rebuild her life. 
She earned her GED and got a college degree from Lipscomb University in prison. Brown also became a mentor to troubled girls and young women while behind bars.
Brown has since met with prison counselors to design a plan for her release, which will include time in a transition center and continuing coursework with the Lipscomb University program.
She plans to have a book published in mid-October and a documentary about her is set to be released this year. 
After being granted clemency, Brown issued a statement saying she will do everything to justify Haslam's faith in her and thanked her family for their support. 
'I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings. The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without Him. Let today be a testament to His Saving Grace,' she said at the time. 
'Thank you to my family for being a backbone these past 14 years. 
'I am thankful to my lawyers and their staffs, and all the others who, for the last decade have freely given of their time and expertise to help me get to this day. 
'I love all of you and will be forever grateful. With God's help, I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.' 
Kim Kardashiann tweeted 'Thank you Governor Haslam' after clemency was granted back in January
Kim Kardashiann tweeted 'Thank you Governor Haslam' after clemency was granted back in January
Kim Kardashian West, Alyssa Milano, and Viola Davis were among the stars who celebrated Brown's clemency earlier this year
Kim Kardashian West, Alyssa Milano, and Viola Davis were among the stars who celebrated Brown's clemency earlier this year

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