Teen Accused Of Killing Allegedly Abusive Father Fights For Freedom Before Trial
BY SUSAN JOHNES
An Ohio teenager, Bresha Meadows has been charged with killing her allegedly abusive father. Bresha’s lawyer is asking a judge to release her on bond until her trial. The lawyer is citing cruel and unusual conditions where she is jailed at the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center.
The 15-year old kid was charged with aggravated murder in the death of her father, Jonathan Meadows. Bresha has been confined over nine months ago, since her arrest on July 28, 2016.
Early in February this year, Bresha was transferred to a mental health facility for an evaluation but was later returned to jail a little over 30 days.
Her lawyer, Ian Friedman, maintains his defense that Bresha acted in self-defense. He said the young girl often witnessed her father abuse her mother, Brandi Meadows, for years.
Her mother has described her late husband as a dictator and violent being. Brandi said her late husband use to punch her, strangled, and stabbed her occasionally.
Reliable sources close to the family say that they believe Bresha’s father may have sexually abused the teen. However, the teen’s lawyer has declined to confirm or deny the allegations.
Bresha’s trial date is set for May 22, but the young girl has pleaded not guilty. On the positive, Bresha is being tried as a juvenile, which comes with advantages. Even if she is convicted, Bresha can only be kept behind bars until age 21.
On the social media, a national campaign in support of Bresha has spread with advocates organizing under the hashtag #FreeBresha.
Additionally, there is a petition which has called on prosecutors to drop charges against the teen and release her immediately. It has garnered over 28,000 signatures and argued that the teen needed a safe and supportive environment to heal and rebuild her reputation as opposed to years of incarceration.
Just last month, her lawyer charged in a motion saying that the teen was not receiving adequate medical and mental health care at the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center in Warren, Ohio. He wrote, “Without proper care, Bresha cannot participate in her defense appropriately.”
On Monday, the lawyer told HuffPost that it was critical that all clients be in a place they can best assist their attorneys in their defense. Friedman said, “We feel that she is not getting what she needs at the jail. We need to request the court to consider certain alternatives for her best interest.”
The home of Bresha’s aunt, Latessa has been identified as the best place for the teen because of its location which is an hour away from Warren. Latessa said she spent the weekend adjusting to the situation by buying a twin bed and turning her spare room into a bedroom.
Latessa last met Bresha in March, while she was at the mental health facility, which allowed visits from extended family. She said Bresha seemed happy at the jail, where she returned over a month ago. Latessa said Bresha is looking forward to the hearing and wants to get out.
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