Bresha Meadows' family relieved her case will stay in juvenile c - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Bresha Meadows' family relieved her case will stay in juvenile court

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WARREN, Ohio -

The case of a Warren fifteen-year-old accused of murdering her father will remain in juvenile court instead of being tried in an adult court.

Bresha Meadows was fourteen-years-old on July 28 when she allegedly fatally shot 41-year-old Jonathan Meadows at their Warren home.

An assistant prosecutor revealed on Thursday that the case will remain in Trumbull County Family Court and she will be tried as a juvenile.

The family of Bresha Meadows feel like they have a small victory but they still know they have a long road ahead to try to convince a jury that the teen acted in self defense to protect the rest of the family.

"She is a little girl and this was weighing heavy so I feel like today a thousand pounds has lifted off her shoulders, her mom's shoulders, the family's shoulders and everybody's shoulders that she will have a future. She will have a tomorrow," described Meadows' aunt Martina Latessa.

If convicted of aggravated murder, Meadows now faces the possibility of being in a juvenile detention center until she's 21. If she had been tried as an adult, she faced the possibility of life in prison without parole.

"And like I said Bresha was with me end of May/ beginning of June, [I] never saw this outcome that she had reached that point," stated Latessa.

Latessa said that it was years of domestic violence that led to the shooting. She said that they contacted police and children services in the past and even as a Cleveland Police officer herself, she couldn't intervene.

"If I knocked on his door and said Brandi (the mother) lets go, I'm the police get your stuff you guys lets go, I might as well walked in that backyard with a shovel and dug her grave because my sister wasn't going," which Latessa said is typical for domestic violence victims.

21 News anchor Leslie Barrett spoke with the assistant prosecutor handling this case, attorney Stanley Elkins, about why they decided not to try Meadows as an adult. He would not explain the reason or reasons behind the decision but Meadows' attorney did give us some possible insight.

"In prior discussions, I know that some of the factors were that Bresha had never been in trouble before, and her age and so forth and plus I just think that this just has a unique set of circumstances," commented Meadows' attorney Ian Friedman.

The father Jonathan Meadows' relatives have said that there was no reason for the killing and that Bresha Meadows was an unruly child.

The next hearing is January 20th.

Petitions bearing seven thousand signatures in support of the teen were turned over to attorney Friedman, who called the petitions invaluable.

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