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Show of support in court for Warren teen charged with murder

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WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Bresha Meadows, the Warren teenager charged with murder in the July shooting death of her father, was back in a juvenile courtroom Friday morning. But she wasn’t alone.

“She knows there’s so much support there for her,” said Meadows’ mother, Brandi.

Her family and close friends, wearing purple shirts with some reading #StandWithBresha, watched as the 15-year-old stood before the judge.

“We want to stand by her through this whole ordeal and stand with Bresha through everything. Through the trial, through her recovery, through her getting back in life, and through her moving on. So we’re gonna stand together,” said Meadows’ aunt, Martina Latessa.

Meadows was only 14 years old in July when police said she shot and killed her father, Jonathan Meadows, at their home in Warren.

“This case is really three components – the ‘what,’ we know what the ‘what’ is, we have a death. We also know the ‘how’ – that was by gun. The real question left in this case is the ‘why,'” said Ian Friedman, Meadows’ attorney.

Her family said Jonathan Meadows was abusive and the teen was just trying to protect her mom.

“My daughter did what she did for a reason. I’m not saying that what she did was right, but nobody knows the hell that we went through and nobody knows what her mental state was because she was going through a lot herself,” Brandi said.

For six months, Meadows has been incarcerated at the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center. Friedman said her case is making progress, though.

Just today, a trial date was set and the serious youthful offender specification was taken off the table. That reduces her maximum sentence if she’s convicted.

“What that means is that this will be handled as a juvenile matter. It will not be handled, it cannot be sanctioned, as an adult offense should a sanction be imposed,” Friedman said. “She can only be held to the age of 21. The adult sanction is off the table.”

Meadows will also be allowed to go to another juvenile facility for evaluation.

It’s a move Friedman said will be good for her and help them build their case.

“I expect that should this matter proceed to trial, we will have a number of experts who will come in here and speak to what our position is, which has been that this was done in self-defense on that evening.”

Another pretrial in the case is scheduled for April.

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