Cyntoia Brown Wasn't A Victim, Stole Money After Killing Johnny Allen: Prosecutors

Celebrities are rushing to support Cyntoia Brown—who is serving a life sentence for killing a man who'd paid her for sex despite being abused by her boyfriend pimp—but the case of the then-teenager is anything but clear.

The singer Rihanna re-ignited a frenzy from the 2004 case in a viral Instagram post on Tuesday about the case, saying Brown had been repeatedly "drugged and raped by different men" who purchased her. The post says the man Brown killed was a child predator who took her to his home to use her "for sex." 

"Something is horribly wrong when the system enables these rapists and the victim is thrown away for life," Rihanna wrote. 

The singer's post suggests a black-and-white issue when the facts speak to something a lot more gray. Details of the 2006 trial at least can help better explain the charges against the teen and why a jury sided with prosecutors on a life sentence. 

READ MORE: Will Cyntoia Brown Go Free? Teen Given Life Sentence After Killing Could Be Illegal

Prosecutors say Brown killed Johnny Allen, 43, in order to steal from him — she took several firearms and his pants, which contained his wallet. They also pointed to her past drug use and criminal juvenile record in an attempt to show a pattern in her life. 

Allen was found dead in a pool of blood in his bed. Authorities say he was face down and had his hands under his head, as though he was sleeping when he was shot in the back of the head, court documents show. 

Brown told Nashville police officers Allen picked her up at a Sonic Drive-In and took her back to his home and they got into his bed. He started touching her under the covers and Brown told police she thought he was reaching for a gun, so she pulled out a .40-caliber handgun from her purse and shot him in the head, court documents show. 

Initially, she denied she was a prostitute and that they'd had sex. 

Authorities say Brown then took money out of Allen's wallet, took two of his guns then stolen his pickup truck and drove to a Walmart parking lot. She had someone else pick her up but was later arrested. 

Brown never denied killing Allen, but claimed she did it in self-defense. She was tried as an adult. 

She never took the stand during her trial, and a jury sided with prosecutors—without knowing much of her tragic backstory of prostitution, abuse and ultimately why she shot Allen. 

Brown said when she was 16 she was a runaway and met a 24-year-old man known as "Cut-throat." She started living with him and they moved around to different hotels, the Associated Press reported

He was abusive—both physically and emotionally—and forced her to prostitute herself for money. He also regularly choked, beat and raped her. 

"He would explain to me that some people were born whores, and that I was one, and I was a slut, and nobody'd want me but him, and the best thing I could do was just learn to be a good whore," Brown told a judge in 2012 during an appeal hearing.

The day she met Allen and went back to his home—August 5, 2004—she said she felt afraid by his odd behavior, telling a judge he kept getting up and standing over her. 

She finally took out her gun and shot him in the head. 

Brown's attorneys have argued her mother's intense alcohol drinking while pregnant left the teen with a neurodevelopmental disorder that could be what caused her behavior that day. 

Evidence of her disorder, which is characterized as a "severe mental disease and defect" and has lowered her IQ, was not shown to the jury during her trial, the AP reported

Brown's case gained support in 2011 after a documentary detailed her life and what she went through both before the killing and while behind bars. Her case has also helped gain momentum for legislation against life sentences for juvenile offenders. 

She's been described as a model prisoner since she was placed behind bars, even mentoring other women and getting her associate degree through an in-jail program, the Tennessean reported

It's not exactly clear why celebrities suddenly learned of Brown's case Tuesday, but support for the teen quickly went viral with everyone from Kim Kardashian to T.I posting their thoughts with the #FREECYNTOIABROWN.

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