Cyntoia Brown

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commuted the sentences of 11 prisoners on Thursday. The list did not include Cyntoia Brown who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for murdering a man.

In a press release, Gov. Haslam said:

“I am pleased to grant these acts of clemency. These individuals have made positive contributions to their communities and deserve pardons, or are individuals who will receive another chance to become contributing members of society by virtue of their commutations.”

Earlier this month, Gov. Haslam said he would consider granting clemency to Brown who fatally shot 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen when she was a 16-year-old prostitute.

State legislators asked Haslam to grant clemency to the 30-year-old after a panel of Tennessee Supreme Court justices rejected her request for a new trial in December. The justices said Brown must serve 51 years of her life sentence before she can be considered for parole.

The lead detective who worked Brown’s murder case asked Gov. Haslam not to commute her sentence to time served.

In a seven-page letter to the governor obtained by WKRN-TV, Detective Charles Robinson wrote:

“First and foremost, Cyntoia Brown did not commit this murder because she was a child sex slave as her advocates would like you to believe, Cyntoia Brown’s motive for murdering Johnny Allen in his sleep was robbery.”

He concluded, “my findings were that she was not justified in killing the man and her only motivation for the murder was robbery.”

Gov. Haslam will consider whether to grant clemency to Brown before he leaves office next month (January 2019).