Cyntoia Brown received a life sentence at the age of 16, but today she's free.
Back in January, Brown was granted clemency by former Gov. Bill Haslam and was set for release on parole on Aug. 7. An alleged victim of sex trafficking, she was convicted for the 2004 murder of 43-year-old Johnny Allen, who had paid her to have sex with him. Brown was 14 years old at the time of the murder. As ABC reports, Brown was released on Wednesday.
"Early this morning offender Cyntoia Denise Brown was released from the Tennessee Prison for Women," said the Nashville District Attorney's Office. "Per the commutation, Brown has now been released to parole supervision." Brown was allegedly forced into sexual relationships with a number of men by Garion "Cut Throat" McGlothen, enduring sexual and physical abuse. McGlothen died in 2005, a year before Brown was convicted of first degree murder, felony murder, and aggravated robbery.
Prosecutors originally argued that Brown killed Allen so that she could rob him, while she stated that she feared for her life during her encounter with him. She was tried as an adult during the case, despite her age at the time. Celebrities rallied behind her release throughout 2017 and 2018, with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Drake celebrating the announcement of her clemency.
She served 15 years of her life sentence. Following her release from prison, she will have to remain in employment or educational enrollment and participate in mandatory counseling sessions.