Cyntoia Brown-Long is perhaps the most well known juvenile offender who used lies to obtain release. Brown was convicted of the 2004 robbery and murder of Johnny Michael Allen and was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 51 years. In 2018, a large national movement to free Brown was started and in January 2019, Tennessee governor Bill Haslam commuted her sentence to 15 years. She was released from prison later that year.
Despite what Brown’s supporters and Brown herself claim, Brown did not kill Allen in self-defense. She killed him by shooting him in the head as he slept in order to rob him and, in her words, “just to see how it felt to kill somebody.” The evidence against Brown is overwhelming. Yet Brown and her supporters continue to viciously lie and many people, including celebrities, believe them without looking at the facts. It was especially irresponsible for celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Rihanna to spread Brown’s lies, as they have the ability to reach millions of people. Here is the TRUTH about Cyntoia Brown.
Summary Of The Evidence
The position in which Allen’s body was found shows that he was asleep when he was shot. Brown told several people that she killed Allen to rob him and to see what it felt like to kill someone. She also laughed, joked, and bragged about the murder.
On August 6, 2004, 43-year-old real estate agent Johnny Michael Allen picked Brown up and took her to his home. According to Brown, she agreed to sleep with Allen for $150 (https://www.newspapers.com/image/245450894/)(https://www.newspapers.com/image/245430358/ (https://www.newspapers.com/image/245217700). They never engaged in sexual intercourse.
Johnny Allen Was NOT A Rapist Or Sex Trafficker
Advocates of Brown have said many appalling and slanderous lies about her victim. None of them are true. Brown herself admitted that Allen did not rape her (letter, page 4) (page 11, brief) and that he did not threaten her with a gun at any point (page 11, brief). Allen did not harm Brown in any other way. The most he did was take her home with the intent to sleep with her. Now, in Tenseness, 18 is the age of consent. Brown was 16. It is certainly inappropriate for a 43-year-old man to solicit sex from a 16-year-old prostitute. But is it attempted rape? No. In 34 states 16 is the age of consent. Tenseness is one of only 11 states where 18 is the age of consent (https://edubirdie.com/blog/statutory-rape-guide). In many countries in Europe (the same countries that advocates of juvenile criminals like to point out don’t have JLWOP), the age of consent is even younger (https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/age-of-consent-by-country/). Is sleeping with a 16-year-old fine in one state but rape warranting execution in another? No. Allen was not attempting to rape Brown when he solicited her for sex.
Along with claiming that Allen raped or attempted to rape Brown, supporters of Brown’s release have claimed that he was her pimp and sex trafficker. Again, not true. Brown was trafficked by a pimp named Garion McGlothen (“Kut-Throat”), not Allen (https://www.newspapers.com/image/245450894/) (https://www.newspapers.com/image/245430358/). Allen had no idea that the prostitute he took home was being trafficked.
Not only was Allen not intending to harm Brown, he may have been trying to help her. Prosecutors believe that, along with soliciting her for sex, Allen was interested in helping the young woman. Allen’s friends and family believe that Allen was only interested in helping Brown and that he did not intend to sleep with her (https://fox17.com/news/local/opinions-divided-as-cyntoia-brown-heads-into-clemency-hearing) (https://www.okayplayer.com/news/friend-of-man-cyntoia-brown-killed-against-clemency-decision.html) (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/who-was-cyntoia-brown-convicted-of-killing-a-look-at-johnny-allen/ar-BBRWzpD) (https://www.oxygen.com/true-crime-buzz/netflixs-murder-to-mercy-who-was-johnny-michael-allen). Either way, Allen certainly did not deserve what Brown did next.
According to Brown, when she was in bed with Allen, she thought he was reaching for a gun and then shot him in self-defense. The physical evidence does not support this claim. Allen’s body was found lying on the right side with his arms folded underneath and his fingers interlocked (letter, page 5) (brief, page 4). Gunshot residue from one of Allen’s pillowcases showed that the gun was three to six inches away from the case when it was fired. Allen’s gunshot wound had characteristics of those fired at close range (brief, page 5). Allen was not reaching for a gun when he was killed. He was not reaching for anything. He was not even awake. Cyntoia Brown shot him while he was asleep (letter, page 5).
The witnesses’ names are not being given due to concerns about their privacy and safety. Instead, I am using initials.
On August 7, Brown went to the room of R. R., who lived in the same hotel as her and McGlothlen. She asked him for a ride to Walmart which he gave her. She directed him to the pickup truck she had robbed from Allen. They then went back to the hotel (brief, page 6) (letter, page 2). Brown told R.R. that he needed to help her get into Allen’s house and offered him money to drive her back to the house so that she could steal more items. He refused (brief, pages 6-7) ( letter, page 2). Brown told him that she had “shot somebody in the head for fifty thousand dollars and some guns” (brief, page 6) and also said, “I shot somebody in the head last night and blew his brains out.” Brown said that this was a “fat lick” (robbery) and that she had been “waiting on a lick like that all week” (letter, page 2).
R.R. told his roommate, S. H., about the incident (letter, page 2). S.H. went to Brown’s room and asked her about it and she told him the same story. According to R.R, Brown called him and threatened him, saying, “you better stop running your fucking mouth about my business or I’ll get to you too” (letter, page 3). R.R. and S.H discussed calling the police but feared retaliation from Brown and her McGlothlen. Brown had, in fact, threatened them with the .40 caliber handgun several days earlier. She also had put the gun to R.R.’s head while playing with it (letter, page 3). S.H. and R.R. ended up leaving the hotel and calling the police, who went on to interview Brown (letter, page 2).
The Telephone Calls
After being interviewed, Brown called a woman, S.A, and told her about the murder. Detectives overheard her laughing and joking about it (letter, pages 4-5) (brief, pages 7-8) (https://www.newsweek.com/cyntoia-brown-laughed-killing-man-threatened-shoot-720363).
Brown later made another call to her adoptive mother, where she said “you don’t understand what I did. I killed somebody, I executed him” (letter, page 6) (brief, page 10).
On August 14, 2004 (brief, page 8) Brown was taken to the Western Mental Health Institute for an evaluation. There, she wanted to call her adoptive mother (https://www.newsweek.com/cyntoia-brown-laughed-killing-man-threatened-shoot-720363) (brief, page 8). When a nurse, K.F., didn’t let her make the call, Brown attacked her, jumping over her desk, grabbing her hair and face, and hitting her (brief, page 8). Brown told the victim, “I shot that man in the back of the head, and bitch, I’m gonna shoot you three times in the back of the head and would love to see your blood splatter on the wall” (https://www.newsweek.com/cyntoia-brown-laughed-killing-man-threatened-shoot-720363) (brief, page 8). Brown’s assault gave K.F. several bruises and abrasions (brief, page 8). Brown admitted in a phone call to her adoptive mother that she attacked a nurse and “was gonna kill her” (brief, page 10).
The Jail Inmates
In November 2004, jail inmate S. B. asked Brown why she was in jail (brief, page 9) (letter, page 6). Brown claimed that she killed Allen in self-defense, but changed her story several times. S.B. confronted Brown, telling her that something was wrong with her story and that she needed to tell the truth (letter, page 6). Brown then began laughing (brief, page 9) and said, “if you want to know the truth I killed the fucking guy for nothing.” She stated that she was mad at her boyfriend for making her go out and prostitute and that she decided to kill the next man who picked her up. Cellmates L.W. and S. W. R. gave similar stories as S.B. (letter, page 6). Not only did Brown tell her cellmates that she did not kill Allen out of self-defense, S.B. said that Brown said she shot Allen “just to see how it felt to kill somebody.” Brown also reportedly did not appear to have any remorse (brief, page 9).
S.B. also provided detectives with a note that Brown had given her. It said, “everything is the truth, I swear it on my life except for ‘I thought he was getting a gun’ and the feeling of nervousness” (letter, pages 4-5) (brief, page 9). According to a forensic document examiner, the note was written by Brown (court opinion). Other notes Brown gave S.B. were discarded. According to S.B., had she kept them, police “would have had a full confession” (brief, page 10).
Some people claim that Brown may have been forced to rob and murder Johnny by her pimp. The evidence shows that this was not the case and paints a picture not of a scared innocent victim but of a callous murderer.
Recall Brown’s neighbors, R.R. and S.H and the Mental Health Institute Nurse K.F. Brown viciously threatened these people, even assaulting K.F. She also bragged about the murder to them. Does this sound like the behavior of an innocent victim who was forced to kill a man by her pimp? Does this sound like a terrified girl who killed a man out of self-defense? Also recall the content of Brown’s confessions. She never claimed that her pimp forced her to kill anyone.
Now let’s look specifically at how Brown spoke about the killing. She crassly referred to it as a “fat lick” (robbery) when speaking to R.R. and laughed and joked about it over the phone. She bragged about it as well (“I had been waiting for a lick like that all week”). She also bragged about it when attacking the nurse, telling the nurse she would love to shoot her in the head and see her blood splatter on the wall. When Brown told the nurse that she wanted to see her blood splatter against the wall, she was describing what she did to Allen in graphic detail and saying that she would like to do it again. She told her mother over the phone that she had executed a man. Does this sound like a terrified sex slave describing a traumatic event in which she was forced to kill someone for her pimp? Imagine if you were a 16-year-old prostitute who was forced to kill someone by your abusive pimp. Think about the entire experience. Getting into the car of a man who you know you will have to kill and going home with him. Putting the gun up to his head and pulling the trigger. Hearing the loud bang of the gun. Turning on the lights and seeing the gruesome aftermath. Would you refer to that traumatic experience as a “fat lick” that you had been waiting for? Would you brag and joke about it? Would you say it was done to see what it was like to kill someone? Would you proudly describe what you did to a woman whom you are attacking and say that you want to do the same to her? If you were forced to shoot a man in the head, the graphic crime scene, the blood on the walls, and everything else would be traumatic and painful to talk about. You wouldn’t brag about it while attacking a woman and say you want to do it again. This is the language and behavior of a callous killer.
Brown murdered Allen in cold blood for fun and so that she could rob him. Despite the overwhelming evidence of this, Brown and her supporters are continuing to lie and people are believing them. This is shameful. People need to look at the facts and acknowledge the truth about what Brown did.
Examples of Lies
The lie about Brown has been repeated by many people and organizations. This is just a sample. We are not trying to shame people for believing the lies. We just want to expose how pervasive these lies are and how devastating they are to victims.
“Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced he had granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who has been serving a life sentence since killing her abuser when she was 16.”-The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/04/9752537/did-kim-kardashian-help-cyntoia-brown-netflix-documentary “It first helps to know the basics of the Cyntoia Brown case: Back in 2006, Brown Long was convicted of murdering a 43-year-old real estate agent, Johnny Allen, who had solicited her for prostitution and sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.”
https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/lifestyle/8054668/kim-kardashian-offering-legal-team-harsh-sentencing “The system has failed. It’s heart breaking to see a young girl sex trafficked then when she has the courage to fight back is jailed for life! We have to do better & do what’s right. I’ve called my attorneys yesterday to see what can be done to fix this. #FreeCyntoiaBrown”–Kim Kardashian
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bbwi26PjHf7/ “did we somehow change the definition of #JUSTICE along the way?? cause….. Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life! To each of you responsible for this child’s sentence I hope to God you don’t have children, because this could be your daughter being punished for punishing already!”–Rihanna
“Imagine at the age of 16 being trafficked by a pimp named ‘Cut-throat’ After days of being repeatedly drugged and raped by different men you were purchased by a 43-year-old child predator who took you to his home to use you for sex. You end up finding enough courage to fight back and shoot and kill him.”–Retweeted by Rihanna and Cara Delevingne
Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit Brief
Letter to Governor Haslam
Research by NOVJM