WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The 15-year-old girl accused of shooting and killing her father last month in Warren was in court Tuesday, but not everyone thinks she should be there.
The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative handed over petitions with about 7,000 signatures, asking for Bresha Meadows to be released from custody.
She is charged with the shooting death of her father, 41-year-old Jonathan Meadows, at the family’s house in Warren.
The petitioners, as well as some of Bresha’s family members, say Bresha and her mother Brandi were subjected to abuse and that Bresha was trying to protect her mother. Marcia Dinkins, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, said there are 60 national organizations and several state and local organizations behind the effort.
“We know our voice will be heard because you have over 7,000 signatures here that’s saying domestic violence has to stop — that it has to stop hurting our families, it has to stop hurting our communities, it has to stop hurting our educational system, it has to stop hurting children like Bresha Meadows,” she said. “And so these voices right here demonstrate that it is not just a local effort, it is a world-wide effort.”
Family members were also at Tuesday’s pretrial, wearing purple t-shirts reading, “I stand with Bresha.”
Bresha’s aunt, Martina Latessa, said the color purple represents domestic violence awareness. She said she hopes to raise awareness of resources available to victims of domestic violence, saying, as a Cleveland police officer, she sees that it is not often report.
“A lot of them do go unreported, and that’s not uncommon… It is a very hidden secret that you keep in the walls of your home, and it’s not something you talk about,” she said.
Bresha’s attorney, Ian Friedman, said the support from the community is helping Bresha cope with the charges against her.
“She’s a young girl. She’s 15 years old, just turned 15, and she’s sitting in a jail cell not knowing what the future holds. So for her to see names of people who are supporting her, who are thinking about her, who are praying for her, that helps,” he said.
Friedman said he intends to present evidence that domestic violence was present in the home.
“There’s a number of reasons it goes unreported, but in this case, it will still be introduced,” he said. “Maybe it won’t be done through police reports, per say, but it will come in through the family members and those who were involved to say, ‘This is the real story.'”
Meadows is scheduled for another pretrial on October 6.