As supporters of Cyntoia Brown’s release are celebrating her newfound freedom, others are standing by their belief that the killing was not justified.
It’s been 15 years since detective Charles Robinson led the homicide investigation on then 16-year-old Brown.
“I’m happy that she has a second chance at life. I hope she uses this time and does well,” said Det. Robinson.
But in his well wishes, he still stands firm with what he said are the facts of the case.
“Absolutely not. It wasn’t justified. There was nothing that Johnny Allen did to her that night he was asleep that would justify what she did other than her motivation to kill him so that she could take stuff out of the house,” said Det. Robinson.
Det. Robinson argues the narrative that won Brown her freedom that she was a sex slave for four years, just had too many red flags, starting from the very first time she met her alleged pimp.
“There’s no way that that could be true,” said Det. Robinson. “Number one, he met her a little less than a month before I charged her with the murder of Johnny Allen. He was from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, she was from Clarksville, Tennessee.”
Second, the claim that Brown shot Allen in self-defense.
“The man was asleep when she shot him because he was still clasped together, like this near his head,” said Det. Robinson.
Det. Robinson felt so strong about the evidence, in 2017, he wrote a seven-page letter to then-governor Bill Haslam before Haslam made his decision about clemency.
In that letter, he detailed the inconsistencies in Brown’s statements, including what she did after she shot and killed Allen.
After the interview with detectives, Robinson said one thing has stuck after all these years.
Brown used a telephone to make a call.
“She got on the phone and was talking to a friend of hers and telling them that she was in custody and she was going to be charged with murder and she was on the phone laughing about it,” he said. “I found that to be unusual.”
As Robinson stands by his beliefs, he hopes Brown will make good of her future.
“She served 15 years in prison and I hope for her sake that she uses this time well,” said Det. Robinson.