Cyntoia Brown, Woman Serving Life for Murder, Makes Case for Clemency

During the hearing, Brown apologized for killing 43-year-old Johnny Allen in 2004

Teen Life Sentence
Lacy Atkins /The Tennessean via AP, Pool

What to Know

  • Cyntoia Brown is serving a life sentence for the murder of a man when she was 16 years old
  • Her lawyers say she was a sex-trafficking victim and feared for her life, while prosecutors say she shot and robbed him
  • Celebrities have used social media to call for her freedom

A six-member Tennessee Board of Parole is divided on whether to release a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was a 16-year-old prostitute.

Two members of the board voted Wednesday to release Cyntoia Brown, two denied her request for clemency, and two said she should serve 25 years of her sentence. A seventh board member was not present. The decision will ultimately be up to Gov. Bill Haslam.

Brown was tried as an adult and convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 killing of 43-year-old Johnny Allen. Brown's lawyers have said she was a sex-trafficking victim who killed a man because she feared for her life. Prosecutors said she shot him and robbed him.

During the hearing, Brown apologized for killing Allen in 2004 and said she thinks every day about what she did and can't take it back. But she told the board she is a changed woman 14 years later.

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian and singer Rihanna launched a social media campaign to free the now 30-year-old.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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