Cyntoia Brown To Be Released From Prison
Cyntoia Brown, a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was a 16-year-old prostitute, smiles at family members during her clemency hearing Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Lacy Atkins /The Tennessean via AP

Cyntoia Brown Will Be A Free Woman Next Week

Cyntoia Brown, who served 15 years of a life sentence, will be released from prison.

After serving 15 years behind bars for killing her rapist, Cyntoia Brown will walk out of a Tennessee women's prison next week a free woman.

When Brown was 16 years old, she began dating this 24-year-old man known as "Kut Throat" who she said forced her to become a sex worker and also physically and sexually abused her. One August day, he sent her to 43-year-old Johnny Allen. Allen reportedly picked her up from a local Sonic fast-food restaurant, bought her food and took her back to his house.

Brown said Allen tried to intimidate her by showing her the guns he owns and bragging about his military experience. Brown never denied pulling the trigger and shooting Allen in the head as he laid in the bed.

At 16, Brown was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison only being eligible for parole after serving 51 years. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme court ruled juveniles given a life sentence without the possibility of parole was unconstitutional. This didn't apply to Tennessee because parole was a possibility only after serving half-century.  Juvenile justice reformers called the ruling "a virtual life sentence."

In 2011, filmmaker Dan Birman released a documentary on Brown that was widely received and caught the attention of successful Nashville attorney Charles Bone who took on her case pro bono.  Bone was just one of many who began to advocate for Brown, and with the help of social media and celebrities, her case quickly exploded and got the attention of the masses.

In January, Bone went to visit her to deliver the news she would be getting out in August. He asked if she was upset that it would take six more months, but Brown was too elated.

"She said, 'Are you crazy? I was supposed to get out when I was 67 years old.' "

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Marsha Edwards Instagram

Georgia Mom Posts Tender Photos Of Her Children Before Allegedly Killing Them And Herself

A Georgia woman posted a heartwarming picture of her and her children before allegedly shooting them to death and then turning the gun on herself.

According to The New York Daily News, Cobb County Police discovered three bodies inside a townhome home while conducting a welfare check Wednesday evening. Marsha Edwards, 58, reportedly shot and killed her 20-year-old daughter Erin Edwards and her 24-year-old son Christopher Edwards before taking her own life.

Erin, a rising senior at Boston University, interned with NBC 4 New York this past summer and was said to have had "Infectious enthusiasm and a true passion for journalism, and even more important was [a] genuinely good and kind person who will be sorely missed by everyone at NBC New York."

Christopher worked in the Atlanta mayor's office as a digital content manager. According to Edwards Instagram posts, she spent the summer with her children, going to Miami with her son and Italy with her daughter.

“I’ve had the best summer, first with Chris in Miami, and Erin in Italy. I could not ask for better children,” Marsha posted Wednesday.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’ve had the best summer, first with Chis in Miami, and Erin in Italy. I could not ask for better children. ❤️🍷😎

A post shared by Marsha Edwards (@marsha.edwards.7564) on Aug 21, 2019 at 1:29am PDT

Police have not disclosed the motives behind the murder-suicide.

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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP

Florida Gunman Convicted Of Manslaughter In Fatal Parking Lot Shooting

A Florida jury convicted a white gunman of killing an unarmed black father during an argument over a parking space. Jurors deliberated for more than six hours before finding Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the July 2018 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.

McGlockton, 28, was gunned down in front of his 5-year-old son in the parking lot of a Circle K gas station. The father of three was coming to his girlfriend’s defense after she was confronted by Drejka for parking in a handicap space while McGlockton ran into the store. Drejka, who alleged self-defense, claimed that he opened fire after McGlockton took “one step” towards him and shoved him. Drejka attempted to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to justify the fatal shooting, and saw no fault in his actions.

“I followed the law the way I thought the law was supposed to be followed. I cleared every hurdle that the law had to put in front of me,” he told a local news station last year.

Prosecutors argued that Drejka provoked the confrontation and video surveillance confirmed that McGlockton was backing away from Drejka. The state’s self-defense argument doesn’t apply if the shooter caused the altercation.

Drejka, who faces up to 30 years in prison, had no reaction to the verdict, CBS News reports. He remains held without bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10.

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Baltimore Teen Sentenced To Life For Killing A Cop

A Baltimore teen hung his head and sobbed inside a courtroom Wednesday (Aug. 21) after a judge handed down a life sentence for the May 2018 death of an officer.

Dawnta Harris, 17, from West Baltimore, reportedly asked the judge for a second chance. Although he didn't speak in court, his defense attorney, Warren Brown, read the boy's six-page letter out loud.

“Show me mercy,” he begged

Harris, along with three other teens, reportedly were burglarizing homes in Perry Hall. Harris stole a Jeep Wrangler and was in the vehicle when officer Amy Caprio approached. Harris stepped on the gas and ran over the 29-year-old cop.

“I didn’t want to harm Officer Caprio at all; I just wanted to get away,” Harris wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I thought she was going to move.”

Brown tried to convince Circuit Judge Jan Marshall Alexander to sentence the teen to 30 years for murdering Caprio, and asked he take into account his rough upbringing. However, speaking to reporters afterward he said he wasn't surprised by the ruling. “It wasn’t unexpected. The judge was under a lot of pressure.”

Caprio had been sent to investigate a suspicious Jeep when she spotted the teen. She blocked his way out with her patrol car, jumped out and ordered him to stop. As the jeep sped toward her, The Baltimore Sun reports Caprio drew her gun and yelled "Stop! Stop!"

Bodycam footage showed Dawnta stopped the jeep and opened the driver door slightly as if to surrender, only to get back inside, slam on the breaks and run over Caprio. Dawnta got rid of the jeep nearby and was found walking when he was arrested.

During a 14-hour interview with investigators, Dawnta admitted he panicked. “Once I saw the gun, I put my head down and closed my eyes," he told them. "It was like five seconds before I pushed on the gas."

Caprio died from broken ribs, and crushing injuries to her internal organs. She was found bleeding with tire marks on her legs.

Brown said he will appeal the ruling.

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