Teen to be tried in juvenile court

Charged with father’s killing

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WARREN — A teen girl charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of her father will be tried in Trumbull County Family Court as a juvenile, according to attorneys trying the case.

The decision to keep Bresha Meadow’s case in the juvenile court came from the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office and was based on the facts of the case, assistant prosecutor Stanley Elkins said.

Meadows, now 15, was 14 when her father, Jonathan Meadows, 41, was killed July 28 by a gunshot to the head in the family’s Hunter Street SW home in Warren. She pleaded not true to the single charge in August.

The decision is “great news,” said defense attorney Ian Friedman.

Meadows is due to appear before Family Court Judge Pamela Rintala Jan. 20 for a pretrial hearing, Friedman said.

“This case has a very unique set of circumstances and in the end, I have to give credit where credit is due. The prosecutor gave a thorough assessment of the case and I am grateful for the decision,” Friedman said.

Because of the nature of the charge against her, Meadows could be labeled a serious youthful offender and receive an adult sentence on top of incarceration until she is 21, if she is convicted of the charge filed against her. Since a gun was used, it could tack more time on the sentence.

The holidays are tough for the girl, who has been held in the Juvenile Justice Center since the shooting, but the news was a relief for Meadows, Friedman said.

The case is bound to focus on mental health professionals testifying on both sides, Friedman said. The defense has experts in the field and consultants compiling reports to share with prosecutors, Friedman said. He said he intends to show the court the “unimaginable nightmare” Meadows and her other family members lived under. He said it is a clear case of self-defense.

The case is complicated, Friedman said, and the complexities may not allow for Meadows’ release from JJC before the outcome is decided. But Friedman said it his goal to get her released and make sure she never goes back.

Meadows’ mother, Brandi Meadows, has said her daughter is a hero for shooting her husband, who she said was controlling, violent and threatened her and their children with the very gun he was shot with.

Members of Jonathan Meadows’ family, including his sister, Lena Cooper of Tennessee, said the allegations of abuse against the man are unfounded.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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