Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted an early release to Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for killing a 43-year-old real estate agent who solicited sex from her. Brown was a 16-year-old runaway when she fatally shot John Allen in the back of the head while he slept in his bed in 2002.
Gov. Haslam announced Brown’s parole in an order on Monday, according to PEOPLE. Her release date is August 7.
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian-West and Rihanna rallied support for Brown on social media.
A panel of appeals judges recently rejected Brown’s request for a new trial. The Tennessee Supreme Court also rejected her motion for a new trial. She was required to spend at least 51 years of her life sentence behind bars before she could be paroled.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance,” Brown, now 32, said in a statement from prison on Monday.
“I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me,” the statement continues. Brown added she is “thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings.”
Brown will remain on parole for 10 years after she is released from prison in August.
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