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A sex-trafficking survivor whose case was featured in Oxygen's "Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project" took her first steps as a free woman on Monday after spending the past six years behind bars.
Alexis Martin, who was serving life in prison for a 2013 murder, had her sentence commuted by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last week to reduce prison populations and prevent the spread of COVID-19, reported The Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.
Martin was released to a group home, where she will be "under supervision for an extensive period of time,” according to DeWine.
Kim Kardashian West tweeted photos of Martin's release, writing, "As a 15-year-old survivor of sex trafficking, Alexis Martin needed resources and advocacy–not a sentence in adult prison." Kardashian West also thanked the "generous pro bono lawyers and staff" from the Ohio Justice & Policy Center.
Surrounded by supporters, Martin was overcome with happiness as she walked out of the prison, and she was later caught on video doing a cartwheel.
Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, "she couldn’t hug anyone, so she found another way to express her joy," OJPC tweeted.
Martin was only 14 years old when she said she was trafficked by Angelo Kerney, the man she would later admit to killing.
Kerney was shot to death in November 2013 after two of Martin’s friends entered his home with the intention to rob him, Kardashian West told “The Justice Project.” They also shot and injured Kerney’s brother, who was raping Martin at the time of the break-in, according to Kardashian West.
Martin, then 15, was arrested for Kerney’s murder, and she was tried as an adult, reported Cleveland.com. The court ruled there was not enough evidence to prove that the trafficking was related to the shooting, Martin’s attorney Jennifer M. Kinsley told “The Justice Project.”
Martin pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 21 years, according to Cleveland.com. While in prison, Martin earned her GED, became a certified dog trainer, and ran a group for survivors of human trafficking.
"Despite all the obstacles that Alexis has faced, I am so touched by her efforts of just wanting to do better in her short period of time behind bars," Kardashian West told "The Justice Project."
Now, Martin is excited to take back control of her life and continue her work as an advocate, her attorney Sasha Naiman told Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS-TV.
To hear more about Martin's story, watch “Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project” now on Oxygen.
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