Original story: 8/04/16
14 year old Bresha Meadows killed her father with the same gun he often threatened the family with. Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows, stated that her husband was abusive and she did not have the strength to leave the relationship. Bresha was born into a household with constant abuse as she often saw her dad abuse her mom, threaten Bresha and her sisters and intimidate them with the same gun used to kill him. Martina Latessa, Bresha’s aunt and a Cleveland police officer, stated the teen has no history of violence. Bresha is charged with aggravated murder and will return to court in Turnbull County in late August. Source: Fox 8 Cleveland: 14-year-old accused of killing father, family says girl is ‘hero who saved them all’
Update: 8/08/16: Family clashes over abuse claims
Bresha is accused of murdering her father, Jonathan, 41. Latessa stated that it was Brandi, Bresha’s mom, who suffered abuse at the hands of Jonathan, not Bresha and her siblings. Jackie Meadows, Jonathan’s sister-in-law, stated Jonathan was firm but also a family man.
Brandi Meadows recalled abuse that began when they dated as teens. Jonathan would call her names and accused her of cheating as she carried their first child. He went so far as to punch her in the stomach with weights. Additionally, Brandi said Jonathan drank heavily, was physically abusive, controlling and only allowed her to visit her family once each year.
Jonathan’s family stated he was a hard worker and was not capable of the abuse claimed by Brandi. Source: People: Relatives clash over claims that years of abuse led daughter, 14, to allegedly shoot dad
Update: 8/20/16: Campaign begins to drop charges
A campaign called “Free Bresha Meadows” is underway to drop the charges against the teen. 1000 signatures have been collected on a petition along with over $30,000 in financial support on her GoFundMe page. Source: ITV: Calls to free girl, 15, who ‘shot dead abusive father’
Update: 8/29/16: Community delivers petition
The petition received over 7,000 signatures in ten days. Pastor Dennis Payne spoke to and delivered the petition to prosecutors to request all charges be charged. The judge advised the pastor and Bresha’s supporters that the court could not accept the petition. Source: Fox 8 Cleveland: Thousands sign petition wanting charges dropped against 15-year-old accused of shooting father
Update: 10/13/16: Pretrial hearing set
The final pretrial hearing in the Bresha Meadows aggravated murder trial in Trumbull County Juvenile Court is at 9 a.m. Nov. 22, according to Scott Bombeck, Family Court administrator. Source: The Vindicator: Pretrial hearing set
Update: 12/01/16: Court case update
Bresha Meadows will not be tried as an adult.