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As of today (Aug. 7), Cyntoia Brown is officially a free woman. After serving 15 years in prison, Brown was released this morning.
In 2006, Brown was convicted for killing a man, Johnny Allen, while she was a sex trafficking victim in Nashville, Tenn. Investigators reported that Brown shot Allen in the back of the head after he picked her to have sexual relations with, in exchange for money. Brown argued that she shot Allen in self-defense because she was fearful for her life.
As per Fox News, Brown stated that a pimp called "Cut Throat" forced her into prostitution after she ran away from her adoptive family, back in 2004. During her trial, Brown's attorneys argued that Brown was impaired and could not be held responsible because her mother drank alcohol while she was in the womb.
Back in January, Brown's case caught the attention of many including Kim Kardashian West and Rihanna who lobbied for her release. Shortly after, Former Tennesse Governor, Bill Haslam, granted her clemency. Haslam argued that Brown's sentence was too harsh considering she was a teenager, at the time.
Amazingly, Brown has taken steps to help improve her life. While in prison, Brown earned her GED and completed studies with Lipscomb University. Additionally, Brown inked a book deal with Atria Books. The 31-year-old's book, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System, is aimed to help other female victims who are suffering from abuse and is slated to release on Oct. 15.
"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," the statement begins. "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."