Alleged sex trafficking victim convicted of murder released from prison
Cyntoia Brown, the woman who was convicted of killing a man who solicited her for sex and sentenced to life in prison, is now free.
Brown was granted clemency in January by Bill Haslam, who was then governor of Tennessee, and officially released early Wednesday, according to a press release sent at 3:30 a.m. local time.
“Early this morning offender Cyntoia Denise Brown was released from the Tennessee Prison for Women,” the Nashville District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “Per the commutation, Brown has now been released to parole supervision.”
Brown was sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 killing of Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old real estate broker she claims solicited her for sex. She was only 14 years old at the time of the murder.
She served 15 years in prison for the crime.
“While first giving honor to God who made all of this possible, I would also like to thank my many supporters who have spoken on my behalf and prayed for me,” Brown said in a statement that was issued just before her release. “I’m blessed to have a very supportive family and friends to support me in the days to come. I look forward to using my experiences to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.”
Her attorney, Charles W. Bone, praised Brown’s “commitment to justice” and said he rejoiced over her release.
“When her story is told in much greater detail, the words which describe her success include redemption, rehabilitation, salvation, mercy and freedom,” Bone said in a statement Monday.
Brown was allegedly forced into sex with other men by 24-year-old Garion “Cut Throat” McGlothen and had experienced physical and sexual abuse, according to an amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by her attorneys in 2015.
McGlothen died in 2005, before Brown was sentenced.
The then-16-year-old was convicted of first-degree murder in 2006 and given a mandatory life sentence with the possibility of parole starting in 2057.
Her case gained attention in 2017 thanks to social media posts by celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, calling for her release.
She was also the subject of a 2011 documentary called “Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story.” She also spent time in prison writing a book, called “Free Cyntoia,” which will be published by Atria Books on Oct. 15.
Despite her release, she will be subject to compliance with an approved release plan, must maintain employment or educational enrollment, participate in counseling sessions and maintain “a regular commitment” to community service, the district attorney said.
ABC News’ Kaelyn Forde and Ella Torres contributed to this report.