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Cyntoia Brown was sent to prison for killing a man who solicited her for sex at 16. She's been released

Posted: 4:51 AM, Aug 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-07 15:00:31-04
Cyntoia Brown was sent to prison for killing a man who solicited her for sex at 16. She's now free

NASHVILLE — Cyntoia Brown was released from prison early Wednesday morning.

According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections website, Brown was released on parole. Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted her clemency request earlier this year.

Brown and her attorneys said she would not have any media availability immediately following her release. Her attorneys said she wants some time for privacy and transition before she makes herself available to the public.

While serving her sentence, she earned her GED, an associate's degree and became a mentor for other women at the women's prison.

Brown, now 31, was sentenced to life in prison when she was 16 years old.

Her attorneys say she was a victim of child sex trafficking when she killed 43-year-old Johnny Allen, a man who bought her for sex. She was tried as an adult and convicted of first degree murder, first degree felony murder and aggravated robbery.

Brown testified at her trial that she was solicited for sex by Allen.

He brought her back to his house, Brown testified, where she saw a gun cabinet. Brown testified that she had been forced into prostitution by a pimp and resisted Allen. But then, she said she saw him reach under the bed, and she believed he was going to kill her.

In self-defense, she reached for a gun in her purse and shot him, she said.

The prosecution argued during her trial that she shot him in an attempt to rob him because she took his wallet afterward.

Even though this all happened back in 2004, this case got a lot of national attention over the past few years — including from some very well-known celebrities like Kim Kardashian West.

In one of his last acts in office, Haslam commuted her sentence last year. One of the people who urged the Governor toward that decision was Preston Shipp, the man who prosecuted Brown's case.

He says there are even more cases like hers.

"There's lots of other people just like Cyntoia Brown, whose names we haven't gotten to know because their names haven't been tweeted about by celebrities, but they're there and they're just as deserving of a second chance," he said.

In a statement earlier this week, Brown said "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."

CNN Newsource contributed to this report.

This story was originally published by Bethany Davison on WTVF .