Inmate Asks State To Fund Sex Change, Claims Innocence

| by Sheena Vasani
Kathryn BrownKathryn Brown

A transgender South Carolina inmate is requesting the state pay for her sex-change operation, claiming her gender identity issues forced her to falsely plead guilty to murder and rape.

Kathryn Brown, 44, was still Edmonds Tennent Brown IV when she reportedly sexually assaulted 53-year-old Mary Lynn Witherspoon in 2003 and left her dead in her bathtub, the Daily Mail reports.

Brown had allegedly been stalking Witherspoon for years before the murder, with many believing Brown attacked because Witherspoon was moving to France.

A lesser known detail is that around the time of the attack, Brown had also been taking hormones to become a woman.

She says she was emotionally unstable while on trial, experiencing distress akin to premenstrual syndrome. Upon arriving in prison, she was further assaulted for her gender-issues.

“[If people know about my gender identity issues] I would not be here in prison for a crime or crimes that I did not commit,” said Brown, reports The Post and Courier.

Now Brown is requesting the North Carolina Department of Corrections pay for her sex-change operation to complete her transformation.

Brown claims that she and Witherspoon were friends, claiming the woman offered her support. Witherspoon had reportedly dated Brown's father for several years, reports Daily Mail.

“If I had not been such an emotional basketcase I would have pled 'not guilty' and taken my chances with a jury trial,” said Brown. “If I had been able to dress the way that I would have felt more confident, I would have been dressed in a cream-colored Chanel skirt suit with a pair of 4 1/2-inch spike heel Jimmy Choos and makeup.”

Officials and Witherspoon’s friends and family dispute Brown’s claims about the assault. Police say Witherspoon’s friends said she was terrified of Brown, while Brown’s DNA ties her directly to the crime.

Witherspoon’s sister, Jackie Olsen, calls Brown’s claims of innocence “hogwash,” referring to Brown with the masculine pronoun.

“She was probably the only person who was ever nice to him. Mary Lynn was kind to everybody. She was good to the core. She loved people and was truly kind to people,” Olsen said. “But she would never have assisted him with having a sex change.”

Sources: Daily Mail, The Post and Courier / Photo credit: Charleston Police via Daily Mail

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