Cyntoia Brown

Cyntoia Brown is a victim of sex trafficking

An American citizen, Cyntoia Denise Brown is a victim of sex trafficking, a convicted murderer of her client, Johnny Mitchell Allen, who paid her for the sexual encounter. Brown was just 16-years old teen when it happened. She was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced her clemency after serving 15 years in prison. She will be released on 7 August 2019 at the age of 31. A documentary film about her story, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, produced and directed by Daniel H. Birman, was released in March 2011.

Famous For

  • At the age of 16, she killed her client and faced 51 years to life in prison.
  • She was given clemency after serving 15 years in prison.

Early Life

Brown was born on 29 January 1988. Her birth name is Cyntoia Denise Brown. She was born to Georgina Mitchell. Information about her father is unknown. She was born in Tennessee. She holds an American nationality. Her mother was an alcoholic during her pregnancy with Brown.  Unable to care for her infant daughter, her mother placed her infant daughter for adoption. Thomas Brown and Ellenette Brown adopted her.

However, she ran away from home at the age of 16. She started staying with a man named Garion McGlothen Jarvis at an InTown Suites. He was known by the name Kut-Throat or Kut in the streets.

Jarvis reportedly forced her into sex-trafficking while she was still a teen. He became Brown’s pimp. She started making money and supporting Jarvis and herself through involuntary prostitution during her teenage. Jarvis reportedly threatened, beat, and raped Brown numerous times.

Murder Conviction

Cyntoia met a 43-year old Johnny Mitchell Allen in the parking lot of a Sonic Drive-In on Murfreesboro Road in Nashville, Tennessee on the night of 5 August 2004. Allen was a real state broker and a US Army veteran and the area is a known red-light district. Brown reportedly agreed to have sexual intercourse with Allen for $150. After the deal, they ordered dinner and drove to his home on Mossdale Road.

At his house, Brown shot Allen in the back of the head with her 40-caliber handgun. Brown then fled from there in Allen’s Ford-150 taking his wallet and two of his firearms.

Brown was arrested and then charged with one count of premeditated murder, one count of murder, and one count of aggravated robbery. She was only 16-years old then but was tried as an adult.

Brown never denied shooting Allen but admitted to stealing his cash and firearms. In an interview, she denied that she was a prostitute and also denied having sex with Allen. However, she claimed that she shot him in self-defense. She stated Allen tried to reach the firearm as they two lay in bed and she shot him with her own firearm in defense.

Investigators believed that Allen may have been asleep when was shot based on the position in which his body was discovered. This fact credited the prosecution’s argument that the act was a homicide motivated by Brown’s intent to rob Allen.


Ultimately, she was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 51 years to life in prison. She served her sentence at the Tennessee Prison for Women, which is a maximum-security detention facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tennessee Supreme Court issued a ruling on Cyntoia Brown’s case on 6 December 2018 stating that she would be eligible for parole after serving 51 years.


Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced on 7 January 2019 that he was commuting Cyntoia Brown’s sentence of life in prison to 15 years and providing clemency with 10 years of supervised parole starting on 7 August 2019, the date she will be released. By August 2019, she will have served 15 years in prison.

Gov. Haslam stated that his decision to provide clemency came “after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case”. He further stated, “imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh”.

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