Woman Serving Life For Killing Man Who Hired Her For Sex Aged 16 Begs For Clemency

A woman who is serving a life sentence for a murder she committed while she was 16 and forced to work as a prostitute has pleaded with the parole board for clemency.

Cyntoia Brown, 30, was jailed in 2006 after she admitted to shooting and killing 43-year-old Johnny Allen, who had picked her up and brought him back to her house for sex.

Brown says she believed her life was in danger when Allen began ‘acting funny’. She says she shot him, because she thought he was reaching for a weapon.

However, prosecutors argued that Brown shot Allen in order to rob him. She was tried as an adult and convicted of first degree murder and was due to remain in prison for at least 51 years.

But at a parole hearing Brown and her lawyers begged the board to consider clemency for her crimes.

Members of the board are now undecided on whether to release Brown or not, ABC News reports.

According to the news outlet, two members voted to release her, two voted to deny her release and two others said she should be allowed to come up for parole after serving 25 years. Now the decision falls on Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

Speaking at the hearing Brown apologised for the murder and said she thinks about it ‘every day’.

Her lawyer, Charlie Bone, said Brown was a victim of sex trafficking and that she had been acting in self-defence when she fired the fatal shot.

Brown has previously said she was forced into prostitution after becoming a teenage runaway. At a hearing in 2012, she said while 16 she met a 24-year-old man named Garion McGlothen – who had the nickname ‘Cut Throat’, she says he was physically and sexually abusive towards her and forced into prostitution.

She said: “He would explain to me that some people were born whores, and that I was one, and I was a slut, and nobody (would) want me but him, and the best thing I could do was just learn to be a good whore.”

Speaking to ABC News, Bone said: “It is about her, but it’s also about the issues, and I think that’s what she feels strongly about. The issues of sex trafficking and sex slavery and juvenile justice all need a lot of attention throughout the world – but especially here in Tennessee.”

A huge number of celebrities, including Snoop Dogg, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna have all spoken out to urge authorities to release Brown; with Kardashian even offering up the help of her legal team.

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