Prosecutors in Warren, Ohio have decided the teenage girl who shot and killed her allegedly abusive father will not be tried as an adult. On July 28, then 14-year-old Bresha Meadows went into her parent’s bedroom and shot her father Jonathan Meadows in the head with his own .45 caliber handgun as he slept. If tried and convicted as an adult, the now-15-year-old could have spent the rest of her life behind bars.
Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows, says her husband terrorized her and her kids with daily mental and physical abuse for the duration of their 22-year marriage. She says Bresha only took matters into her own hands because she wasn’t strong enough to leave her husband. In 2011 she filed a filed a civil domestic violence protection order against her husband, but later asked for it to be dismissed. She calls her daughter a hero.
The family of Jonathan Meadows dispute these claims of abuse. They say Bresha sufferes from depression and that she was angry at her father after he punished her for running away. However, Bresha’s aunt Martina Latessa, a detective for the Cleveland police’s domestic crimes unit, says the girl ran away because of the abuse she suffered at home. She says Jonathan Meadows moved the family often and prevented Latessa from seeing her sister Brandi and her family.
Bresha Meadows has been held in a juvenile detention facility in Warren, Ohio since her arrest on charges of delinquency by reason of aggravated murder. She pleaded “not true,” which is the equivalent to a not guilty plea in juvenile court. If convicted, she could be sent to a youth facility until she is 21.