Alleged trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown has been released from prison after serving 15 years of a life sentence for murdering a man who bought her for sex when she was 16.
Brown, 31, walked free from Tennessee Prison for Women following a clemency grant by former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Her case had attracted the supported of prominent celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna who rallied for her release, reports news.com.au.
In a statement, Brown said she wants to help other women and girls suffering abuse and exploitation.
"I thank Governor and First Lady Haslam for their vote of confidence in me and with the Lord's help I will make them as well as the rest of my supporters proud," she wrote.
Brown was just 16 when she shot dead real estate agent Johnny Allen in 2004.
He picked her up at a drive-in restaurant in Nashville so he could have sex with her.
Brown had run away from home at the time and had been living with a pimp named :Cut Throat". She said that man beat and raped her and forced her to work as a prostitute
Brown previously said Johnny Allen's behaviour made her nervous and that he 'grabbed' her forcefully between her legs while they were on his bed.
She claims she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range with a gun she had in her bag because he kept reaching under the bed and she thought he was going for a weapon.
"He just gave me this look. It was, like, a very fierce look," she said in a 2011 documentary.
"But then, he rolls over, like he's reaching to the side of the bed or something. So I'm thinking, 'he's not going to hit me, he's going to get a gun'."
After shooting Allen, she took two of his rifles, stole $172 from him and fled in his truck.
Brown's lawyers contended she was a victim of sex trafficking who not only feared for her life but also lacked the mental capacity to be culpable in the slaying because she was impaired by her mother's alcohol use while she was in the womb.
Brown was convicted in 2006 of first-degree murder and was originally ordered to serve at least 51 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Her attorneys said she's requesting privacy and transition time before she makes herself available to the public.
The US Supreme Court has ruled against life-without-parole sentences for juveniles. But the state of Tennessee argued successfully in lower courts that Brown's sentence was not in violation of federal law because she would be eligible for parole after serving at least 51 years.
Governor Haslam said that was too harsh a condition for a crime Brown admitted to committing as a teen, especially given the steps she has taken to rebuild her life. She earned her GED and completed studies with Lipscomb University as an inmate.
Brown met with prison counsellors to design a plan for her release, which will include time in a transition centre and continuing coursework with the Lipscomb University program, the state Department of Correction said.
- Additional reporting, AP