Garion McGlothen was Cyntoia Brown‘s pimp. He died in 2005 at the age of 24.
On August 7, Brown was released from prison at the age of 31 after serving 15 years of a life sentence for the murder of Johnny Michael Allen. Brown was 16 years old when she shot and killed Allen, 43, in 2004. Brown told authorities that she had gone to Allen’s home to have sex with him after he had paid her $150.
Her case became a cause celebre, partly on the strength of the 2011 documentary, Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story. Brown and her supporters had long maintained that she killed Allen in an act of self-defense.
In January 2019, then-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced that Brown’s sentence would be commuted. Haslam said at the time, “After careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case … 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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McGlothen Was Shot and Killed by Quartez Hines in March 2005
McGlothen went by the moniker “Kut-Throat.” Brown said during her trial that she referred to McGlothen as “Kut.” In March 2005, McGlothen was shot dead by a man named Quartez Hines. The killing was described as gang-related and possibly related to a drug deal. During his life, McGlothen had been an accused drug-dealer and armed robber.
When McGlothen met Brown, he was wanted in connection with the shooting of Rachel Browning, a woman who had been shot in the neck and paralyzed from the waist down.
Hines was arrested in September 2006 after he was accused of shooting Chattanooga Police officer Lydell Blue in the face. Blue survived the incident. While being held for shooting Blue, Hines was charged in relation to the shooting of McGlothen.
2. Brown Met McGlothen While She Was Living on the Streets of Nashville
At the time of Allen’s shooting, Brown had been living with McGlothen inside of an In-Town Suites hotel in Nashville. The couple had been living together for three weeks prior to the shooting of Allen. Brown said that during that time, McGlothen regularly sexually and physically abused her. In one instance, Brown said that McGlothen had choked her to the point where she lost consciousness.
Brown has been quoted as saying, “You’re not listening. I made him money. He wasn’t going to let me go nowhere. He told me he’d kill me. He knows where my mom lives. And I know if a dude choked me until I almost passed out he’s not afraid to kill me.”
A February 2011 feature by Nashville Scene on prostitution in the area detailed that Brown and McGlothen’s initial relationship “had been fun.” The pair had consensual sex and took cocaine together. The article also said that McGlothen had pimped Brown out in order to pay for cocaine.
3. McGlothen & Brown Were Together When She Was Arrested for Killing Allen
Brown said during her trial that McGlothen had forced her to go out to solicit sex on the night of Allen’s shooting. She said McGlothen had beaten her and told her to go out and “make him some money.” Brown was in a fast-food parking lot when she encountered Allen and agreed to have sex with him for $150.
Documents say that when detectives tracked Brown to her home in the hotel, she told officers, “Kut didn’t have nothin’ do with it. I’ll tell y’all everything.” Those documents say that McGlothen was released from custody at the time, as Brown did not implicate him in anything.
4. Brown Said She Had Been Forced Into Prostitution by McGlothen
During her trial for the murder of Allen, Brown said that McGlothen had forced her into prostitution. Despite this, Brown rejected the term “sex slave,” according to an article on her case by The Appeal. Brown had said that she was pimped out along Murfreesboro Pike close to the hotel where the couple lived. Her fee was usually $250, which she split with McGlothen.
5. Brown’s Fans Are Rejoicing Online Following News of Her Release
As news of Brown’s release spread online, her supporters have taken to social media to rejoice. Since her arrest became a trending issue again in 2017, Brown has counted Rihanna and LeBron James among her more famous supporters.
According to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, Brown’s release is conditional on her “Compliance with an approved release plan,” as well as maintaining employment, attending counseling and conducting community service.
Here are some of the most passionate responses that Brown’s case has elicited: