Parents are supposed to protect and provide for their kids. When that doesn’t happen, kids are left to do those things for themselves. That’s the situation 14-year-old Bresha Meadows allegedly found herself in on July 28.
According to reports, Bresha is accused of shooting her father, Jonathan Meadows, in the head for allegedly abusing her mother, Brandi. The gun Bresha used to commit the crime was the same gun used to terrorize their family.
Bresha was charged with aggravated murder and is now awaiting her first court date, which is scheduled for August 30 in a juvenile detention center in Warren, Ohio. She has entered a not true, or not guilty, plea.
Bresha’s lawyer, Ian Friedman, said Bresha lived in a constant state of fear, and that is allegedly what led to kill her father. Her aunt, Martina Latessa, agrees, telling news sources that her niece was born into a nightmare. Reports indicate that while Jonathan didn’t abuse the children, Bresha and her siblings were allegedly subjected to watching their mother being abused, which was in many ways extremely traumatic for the children, according to mental health experts.
Numerous studies indicate that children exposed to violence are more likely to use violence to solve their problems. Bresha Meadows did, and many believe she was warranted in her act of violence.
But will the law protect her as she did her family? Maybe not.
Ohio is the only state in the union that requires the defendant in a case to prove their claim of self-defense, according to Cleveland.com, which “asked two legal experts – University of Akron professor emeritus Marge Koosed and Cleveland State Marshall School of Law associate professor Jonathan Witmer-Rich – for their interpretations on whether state law would permit a citizen to fire a gun under several hypothetical scenarios.“
If you see someone violently attacking another person: You likely could shoot someone, especially if it’s a particularly violent attack or if the attacker has a weapon, reports the news outlet: “The self-defense laws transfer to you if you would fear death or serious injury in their position. Prosecutors may be able to argue that you should have tried to stop them without deadly force. But if the attacker has a weapon, you could argue that the next strike of the baseball bat or cut with a knife could be deadly for the other person,” Witmer-Rich said.
It’s unclear if Bresha’s family or herself were in immediate danger. Although she was subjected to years of witnessing the abuse, that may not be enough to protect her against the charge of aggravated murder.
Friedman told news sources that he’s preparing information for the prosecution that will provide a clearer picture of the abuse going on in the home. He believes this information will help them better understand why Bresha felt killing her father was the best response to the abuse.
In the end, it is sad that a 14-year-old girl had to act as a protector and provider, something her mother and father should have done for her.
Was Bresha standing her ground?
Brandi N. Williams is a broker for change and Leadership Chair for the Hip Hop Caucus Charlotte. The bicentennial baby, accredited PR pro, and hip hop music lover uses her formal training in public relations and nearly two decades of experience in non-profit and government to advocate for causes; bridge the divide between the streets and the suites; and develop innovative solutions to communities’ most complex problems.