Updated Monday, May 22, 2017, 6:48 p.m. EDT: Bresha Meadows hugged her loved ones and attorneys after her hearing today and said, “Today is a good day.”
The 15-year-old had just accepted a plea deal that could see her back home and with her family at the beginning of 2018. She has spent the last nine months in jail after shooting her father in what attorneys say was self-defense after years of his abuse of her, her mother and other family members.
When asked what made Bresha accept the plea deal, Brad S. Wolfe, one of the attorneys representing her, told The Root, “It was an obvious and easy decision as it allows her to reintegrate into life.”
But is it a fair deal? Most advocates for Bresha’s freedom have been saying that she should be allowed to be at home with her family so she can have the love and support she needs from the people who know her best.
Wolfe said, “Bresha’s family and the entire defense team is elated and relieved with this resolution. This young lady just got her life back, when she was facing life without parole.”
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When asked how this conviction for involuntary manslaughter could affect her in the future, Wolfe said that a such a conviction is eligible for both sealing and expungement from Bresha’s record.
All everyone wants is to see Bresha happy and smiling again. Perhaps this will be the way.
Bresha Meadows, 15, accepted a plea of “true” Monday before a Trumbull County, Ohio, juvenile judge to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her father.
According to WFMJ, a plea of “true” in juvenile proceedings is similar to a guilty plea.
Bresha was sentenced to one year and one day in the custody of the Department of Youth Services, including time served, plus six months at a mental-health facility for issues including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bresha has already spent the last nine months in jail, and WFMJ reports that she will be transferred to a mental-health facility in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on July 29 and could be released six months from that time.
Attorneys for Bresha have argued that the shooting was an act of self-defense.
As previously reported on The Root, Bresha stood accused of aggravated murder in the 2016 death of her father, 41-year-old Jonathan Meadows.
Bresha’s mother, Brandi Meadows, and her aunt Martina Latessa repeatedly said that Jonathan Meadows was a violent man who, for years, physically, psychologically and emotionally abused Bresha’s siblings and her mother.
“In the 17 years of our marriage, he has cut me, broke my ribs, fingers, the blood vessels in my hand, my mouth, blackened my eyes. I believe my nose was broken,” Brandi Meadows said in a police report. “If he finds us, I am 100 percent sure he will kill me and the children. ... My life is like living in a box he created for me, and if I stepped out of that box, he’s there to put me back in that box.”
Jonathan Meadows’ family denies that he was abusive, and Meadows’ sister Lena Cooper called her niece, who has been diagnosed with PTSD, generalized anxiety and major depression, a “murderer.”
“[Bresha] had ran away from home because she was doing things that a 14-year-old should not be doing. So she’s not a hero; she’s a murderer. She killed my brother. This was cold, calculated. He was killed in his sleep, and the family is doing everything they can to discredit my brother. And it’s not fair,” Cooper said.
“She is my hero,” Brandi Meadows said of Bresha after the 2016 shooting. “I wasn’t strong enough to get out, and she helped us all.”
The family of Jonathan Meadows has said they would oppose any plea deal in this case.
The case has gained international attention because of the allegations of domestic violence involved.
#FreeBresha continues to trend on Twitter.
Read more at WFMJ.