Cyntoia Brown, the woman who served 15 years of a life sentence for killing a man who solicited her for sex while she was 16, was released from prison on Wednesday morning, the Tennessee Department of Corrections announced.
Brown, 31, was released from the Tennessee Prison for Women.
In 2006, she was convicted of killing 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Allen. Although investigators initially claimed Brown shot Allen during an attempted robbery, she always maintained her innocence and said she shot him out of fear.
Brown said she was raped several times as a child and forced into sex trafficking after running away from home.
She said a pimp called "Cut Throat" forced her into prostitution and verbally and physically abused her.
At trial, Brown's attorneys said she was the victim of sex trafficking and argued she lacked the mental capacity to be culpable in Allen's slaying due to mental impairments she suffered when her mother drank alcohol while pregnant.
In January, then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted her clemency, saying her sentence was too harsh for the crime.
"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," Brown said in a statement released Monday.
Brown will remain on parole supervision on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions, per her commutation.
She has also met with counselors to help strategize a post-prison life plan. She will likely spend time in a transition center and continue her coursework with the Lipscomb University program, Tennessee's Department of Corrections confirmed.
Last month, Netflix acquired the rights to Cyntoia Brown’s life story and a feature film is in the works with Daniel Birman directing. Birman also directed Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, a documentary that helped bring awareness to Brown’s situation.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help Brown get started with her new life.
(Photo: NBC News)
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