Vigil to offer support for teen accused in father’s slaying

WARREN – To mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative is planning a “Prayer Vigil to End Domestic Violence” 6 p.m. Wednesday at Courthouse Square.

A news release from the Youngstown-based group noted the event will occur on the eve of Warren teen Bresha Meadows’ next court appearance.

Meadows, 15, faces an aggravated murder charge and hearing Thursday before Family Court Judge Pamela Rintala. Meadows is charged in the July 28 shooting death of her father at the family’s Hunter Street SW home.

Assistant county Prosecutor Stanley Elkins may ask Rintala to bind Meadows’ case over to a grand jury, move to have Meadows tried as an adult or keep the case in Rintala’s court. Elkins has said he did not want to comment further on the case that has drawn national attention after Bresha’s family members said the slaying may have been a retaliation for years of mental, physical and emotional abuse.

Meadows remains in custody at the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center.

If convicted as an adult, Meadows could face life in prison.

“Bresha’s story should be a wake-up call to our community,” said Marcia Dinkins, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative. “Clearly something is broken when a tragedy like this happens in our midst. As a community and justice system, we failed to safeguard and protect Bresha, her mother and her siblings. What resources do our social service agencies and police require so they can really help families dealing with abuse?”

Dinkins said the vigil will serve as a call to organize so families can get the help they need and the Meadows case isn’t repeated.

“This is also a call on the justice system to provide rehabilitation and services to Bresha and victims like her,” Dinkins said.

gvogrin@tribtoday.com