Bresha Meadows, a sixteen year old domestic violence survivor, was released from juvenile detention after spending ten months in jail for killing her abusive father.
After serving her time, for the involuntary murder of her father, at a juvenile detention center and mental health facility, last Sunday, Feb. 4th, Bresha Meadows was set free.
Jonathan Meadows died of a bullet to the head in his sleep after his teenage daughter, Bresha Meadows, crept into his room on the night of July 28th 2017 and shot him in the temple with his own .45 caliber automatic pistol. Bresha Meadows attorney, Ian Friedman, alleges Bresha feared for her life.
Bresha Meadows Sought Help Prior To Shooting
Bresha ran away two times to seek help, the second time only weeks before the shooting. She went to family members like her aunt, Sheri Latessa, terrified, saying that her father was beating her mother viciously and threatening to kill the entire family.
Letessa said Bresha “did what she was supposed to do, and nobody helped her.” Bresha told people about what was happening inside of her home, but each time she went to Child Protective Services (CPS) in Warren County, Ohio, she was told they could not help her. CPS could not do anything unless her mother reported her father for domestic violence. Finally, taking matters into her own hands, Bresha shot her father in the head while he was asleep.
“[Bresha] did it for her mother. She definitely did it for her mother,” Latessa said.
Jonathan Meadows Allegedly Had A History of Violence
Besha grew up watching her father brutalize her mother, and his presence made their home an unbearable place. Over their seventeen years of marriage, Brandi Meadows, Bresha’s mother, was the victim of near constant abuse.
Mrs. Meadows suffered broken ribs, punctured blood vessels, black eyes, and countless cuts and bruises. Once Jonathan Meadows punched his wife so hard, that she heard her teeth crack upon the impact with his fist. The teeth were so badly shattered that she later had them removed.
Bresha’s lawyer Ian Friedman, told the New York Times, “She had to take matters into her own hands believing that if she didn’t stop her father, it was just going to get worse and eventually somebody was going to die.”
Bresha Meadows Took A Plea For Involuntary Manslaughter
Bresha was initially charged with aggravated murder, though due to the circumstances of her case (her age, her father’s abuse) she was able to take a plea for involuntary manslaughter. Bresha was sentenced to one year in juvenile detention with credit for time served, and six months in a mental health institution, followed by two years probation.
In juvenile detention, Bresha was diagnosed with depression and PTSD, because of the trauma she experienced in her household. After she completes the terms of her probation, Bresha will be able to have the charges expunged from her record.
Bresha Meadows’ Story Happens Hundreds of Times A Year
Unfortunately, Bresha’s story is all too common. The 1992 study “Abused Children Who Kill Abusive Parents,” discovered that each year hundreds of children kill their abusive parents. After years of “physical, emotional, or sexual abuse at the hands of parents” and a cold and difficult to navigate judicial system, these children, “seeing no alternative, resort to self-help by killing the abusive parents.”
Mrs. Meadows, who calls her daughter a hero for what she did, and finally free of her tormentor, can now begin a new life with her daughter.