Warren girl won’t be tried as an adult in murder of her father
By Ed Runyan
In a victory for Bresha Meadows, 15, the girl accused of killing her father at their Hunter Street home in July, the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office has decided against asking for her case to be bound over to adult court.
Stanley Elkins, an assistant county prosecutor, said the prosecutor’s office decided that it would not seek the transfer. Elkins said he also informed Ian Friedman, Bresha’s attorney, of that decision.
Bresha is charged with aggravated murder as a serious youthful offender in the shooting death of her father, Jonathan R. Meadows Sr., 41, on July 28. Bresha was 14 at the time.
Elkins said he cannot talk about the facts of the case, but prosecutors looked at the statute and the criteria for adult charges, the punishments associated with adult and juvenile charges and “whether [Bresha] could be rehabilitated.”
The case is scheduled for a Jan. 20 preliminary hearing, but no trial date has been set.
The decision not to seek adult charges apparently takes away the possibility that Bresha could get a life prison sentence but not the possibility that she could spend time in adult prison.
Juvenile court sanctions typically end at age 21.
But if Bresha is convicted of being a serious youthful offender and doesn’t complete her rehabilitation successfully, the judge in her case, Pamela Rintala, could impose adult sanctions, Elkins said.
The case has received attention on social and mainstream media across the United States and prompted many rallies and fundraising efforts across the country.
Locally, the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative had a Prayer Vigil to End Domestic Violence rally in Courthouse Square in October because of the Meadows case.
The group also attended one of Bresha’s hearings in August with a petition containing 7,000 signatures seeking Bresha’s release from the county juvenile detention center, where she has remained since shortly after the killing.
Family members of Bresha Meadows, including Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows, have argued that Bresha killed her father to protect Brandi and other family members from Jonathan Meadows.
Friedman said after one juvenile court hearing that Bresha’s life was an “unimaginable nightmare” while living with her father. Members of Jonathan Meadows’ family say he was not abusive. Jonathan Meadows had no police record.
Brandi Meadows received a protection order in family court in July 2011 against Jonathan Meadows, saying he threatened to kill her and the children if he found out she was cheating on him, according to documents obtained by The Vindicator.
“In the 17 years of our marriage, he has cut me, broke my ribs, fingers, the blood vessels in my hand, my mouth, blackened my eyes,” she wrote in asking for the protection order.
Brandi Meadows asked for the protection order to be dismissed a few months later, and it was.