A 14-year-old girl is behind bars, facing an aggravated murder charge for killing her father in Warren, Ohio, but her family says she did it to protect her mother and her family, KTLA sister station WJW reported Thursday.
“She is my hero; I wasn’t strong enough to get out and she helped me,” said Brandi Meadows, the mother of Bresha Meadows, who is currently being held in the Trumbull County Family Court on a charge related to the fatal shooting of her 41-year-old father, Jonathan Meadows.
With tears flowing down her face, Brandi Meadows told WJW in Cleveland that her husband abused her for years but she was afraid to leave.
She had filed for a protective order five years ago but later dismissed it.
“I am so sorry she had to go through this,” Meadows said Thursday. “She is my hero. She helped me; she helped all of us so we could have a better life.”
Bresha Meadows is accused of shooting her father in their Warren home during the early morning hours of July 28. Her mother called 911 right after the shooting took place.
The girl’s attorney, Ian Friedman, said Bresha faced years of abuse at the hands of her father, and she also witnessed her mother being abused.
“She wanted to protect her mom,” Friedman said.
Bresha allegedly used her father’s gun to shoot him. Family members say the father often threatened them with that very gun, according to the attorney.
“Using that gun around the house, to intimidate, everyone in the home was terrified,” Friedman said.
Martina Latessa, a Cleveland police officer, and Bresha’s aunt, said her niece has no history of violence.
“From day one, she was born into a nightmare,” Latessa said.
She said her brother-in-law was very controlling and would not let her visit. She said that at the end of May Bresha ran away from home and came to her house.
“She was begging me for help,” Latessa said, as she fought back tears. She said she brought the teen to Warren police and talked to an officer. She said she also contacted Trumbull County Department of Job and Family Services. “She was very, very scared for her mother and sisters.”
Latessa set up a GoFundMe fundraising page for the teen, saying the family had been victims of domestic violence for 20 years.
Juvenile prosecutor Stanley Elkins said Bresha is one of the youngest aggravated murder defendants in Trumbull County. The Warren Police Department is continuing to investigate the case.
“We want to get at the truth and see that justice is served,” Elkins said. “Anybody who has any information or reports should contact Warren police.”
Bresha Meadows is due back in court at the end of August.