Court Date Set To Challenge Cyntoia Brown Sentence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A court date has been set to challenge the sentence of Cyntoia Brown, a 16-year-old who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder.

It's a sad story, where there are no winners. Only a life lost, and a teen sentenced to a life in prison.

Johnny Allen was murdered back in 2004. At the age of 16 years old, Brown was sentenced to life in prison. She claims she killed Allen in self-defense, after he bought her some food and took her back to his home. However, Allen's best friend, Anna Whaley, questions if that's true.

"Cyntoia was seen at Sonic going from car to car, asking for food or money. I feel like Johnny was trying to help her," said Whaley.

Whaley said Johnny became a close friend after they met in church, and it was in his nature to help others in need.

"I feel Johnny was being a good Samaritan," said Whaley.

Whaley believes Johnny died trying to help Brown, and justice has already been served.

"There was no sex between her and Johnny, and that is in the transcript from the trial. She robbed Johnny after she shot him in the back of the head, and then she made plans to go back," said Whaley.

Brown's lawyers filed a federal appeal, after celebrities like Rhianna and Kim Kardashian took to twitter calling for her release. Her lawyers argue Allen picked Brown up for sex, that she was the victim and it's unconstitutional to keep her in prison until she's 67.

"My concern is for Johnny's family and his memory," said Whaley.

Whaley said she will continue to give a voice to her friend, who wasn't given the opportunity to be heard.

"I feel like at this point, Johnny’s being used as a scapegoat. He cannot speak for himself, and that’s just not right," she said.

A Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear oral arguments on June 14.

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