NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Cyntoia Brown’s dream of freedom is now a reality. After spending 15 years behind bars, Brown will leave prison a free woman Wednesday.
Now 31 years old, Brown was convicted of murder at just 16. She killed 43-year-old Johnny Allen after she said he offered to pay her for sex. During the trial, Brown said she feared Allen was going to kill her.
Brown suffered years of child trafficking, neglect, abuse and rape before the murder.
While in prison, she changed her life around earning her GED and Associate's Degree, and is expected to earn her Bachelor's degree this year through the Lipscomb University LIFE Program.
Brown's case has garnered national attention including support from celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Elizabeth Banks and Amy Schumer.
Toward the end of his time in office, Brown’s case also grabbed the attention of former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam who granted her Clemency in January.
"I have every confidence in the world that she'll live a life that's worthy of the second chance she's gotten,” Haslam said in an interview earlier this year.
Ahead of her release, Brown released a statement thanking her supporters.
“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," said Brown. "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. 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. “
As for what’s next, publishing company Atria Books announced Brown will release a memoir October 15th titled "Free Cyntoia: My search for Redemption in the American Prison System.”