Ohio Teen, Bresha Meadows, Who Shot Allegedly Abusive Father Accepts Plea Deal

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Art for Bresha Meadows by Molly Crabapple
Art for Bresha Meadows by Molly Crabapple

Bresha Meadows, the Ohio teen who fatally shot her allegedly abusive father last summer in a case that drew criticism over the treatment of Black women in the criminal justice system, will get her sentence reduced following a plea deal.

On May 22, Meadows pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in Trumbull County Family Court in Warren, Ohio, outside of Cleveland, according to the Huffington Post.

As part of the plea agreement, she was sentenced to a year and a day in juvenile detention, six more months at a residential mental health facility and two years of probation. The website also said her record will be sealed and expunged when she turns 18.

The 15-year-old was arrested and charged with the murder of her father, Jonathan Meadows, on July 28, 2016. She claimed self-defense due to repeated abuse and threats of gun violence at the hands of her father, who also allegedly abused her mother, according to media reports.

Her attorney, Ian Friedman, was not available for comment.

He told the Huffington Post in court that Meadows is a good kid. “She grew up in an environment where every adult failed her. … This did not have to happen.”

A rally was held at her pre-trial hearing on May 8 to pressure the prosecutor’s office into dropping charges. Stanley Elkins, who handled the prosecution, could not be reached for comment.

Meadows’ case has garnered attention around the world and highlighted the disproportionate treatment in domestic violence cases when the victims are Black females.

A 2013 study by the Washington-based Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit educational organization that analyzed Federal Bureau of Investigation data from 2011, found that Black women are murdered by men at a rate more than two-and-a-half times higher than white women.

In 2011, of the 470 homicides involving single Black female victims, 12 percent of them were younger than 18 years old, according to the study. It also found that compared to a Black male, a Black female is far more likely to be killed by her spouse, intimate acquaintance or a family member than by a stranger.

Meadows’ supporters have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for her mental health treatment, which they expect her to begin in about two months. More than $118,000 has been raised so far, with a goal set at $150,000.

“In two months, Bresha will be transferred to a treatment facility where she will receive the treatment that she deserves and needs,” reads a statement on the page.

 

 

 

 

 

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