NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Cyntoia Brown has a book deal, a new marriage and a new opportunity to help other young women who are facing obstacles most will never experience.
Brown was released from the Tennessee Prison for Women early Wednesday morning after spending 15 years behind bars.
She had her life sentence commuted in January by former Gov. Bill Haslam.
Houston Gordon has been one of Brown’s attorneys for years as she fought for her freedom from behind bars.
He said Brown’s goal is to help other young women who are also facing obstacles in their life.
“She wants to people not get there, out of the case maybe, out of realizing that there is restoration, there is rehabilitation, there is redemption, there is remorse, there is transformation that can take place if given the opportunity,” said Gordon.
Brown released a statement on her release earlier this week:
“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. 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 think 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.”
In 2006, Brown, at the age of 16, was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery by a Davidson County jury. Brown, a victim of sex trafficking, killed 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Allen, who paid to have sex with her.
She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison, meaning she would not have been eligible for parole consideration until 2055. Her case got the attention from numerous celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and T.I.
Gordon believes when it comes to cases involving children, there should be more thought behind the sentencing.
“This was a juvenile who was incarcerated for life, going to spend time until she was 67 years old,” said Gordon. “It is absurd to think that a child who has a child’s brain and a child’s emotions and no opportunity to grow up like a normal human being all of the sudden we’re going to throw them away? I hope we change that.”
Brown was recently married while in prison. She will be on supervised parole for 10 years and will have to follow several conditions, including:
- Compliance with an approved release plan
- Maintain employment or education enrollment once placed on parole
- Participate in regular counseling sessions
- Maintain a regular commitment to community service
Brown married recently before her release, according to her new author profile on her publisher's website Simon and Schuster:
"After her release in August 2019, she hopes to be a voice for justice and victims of sexual violence, and looks forward to starting her life as a recently married woman."
Her memoir is set to be published in mid-October, according to Yona Deshommes, associate director of publicity for Atria Books, her publisher.
A news release about the book lists her name as Cyntoia Brown-Long and mentions an “unlikely romance.”