Bresha Meadows, the 15-year-old Ohio girl accused of killing her father last year to stop his alleged abuse, will remain in custody until her trial
Bresha Meadows, the 15-year-old Ohio girl accused of killing her father last year to stop his alleged abuse, will remain in custody until her trial later this month, PEOPLE confirms.
On Friday, a judge in Ohio’s Trumbull County Family Court denied a request to have Bresha released pending trial. Bresha’s attorney, Ian Friedman, unsuccessfully sought her release into the custody of her aunt, a police officer, so the teen could receive what he argued was better psychological care.
Prosecutors, who did not return a call for comment, reportedly argued Bresha was already receiving proper treatment and may be a flight risk.
Despite the judge’s decision, Friedman tells PEOPLE he is not deterred.
“I’m still optimistic,” he says, noting that the judge said she would review the request if the current trial date of May 22 is prolonged.
“It makes sense because the trial starts in two weeks. It would take that long to move her. But if this goes beyond another two weeks, then it will be a completely different consideration,” Friedman says. “Right now we have our eye on the ball, which is the trial.”
Bresha is charged in family court with one count of murder in connection with the death of her 41-year-old father, Jonathan Meadows. She is accused of shooting him in the head, with his own gun, at their home in Trumbull County early on July 28. She was 14 at the time.
She has pleaded “not true,” the family court equivalent of not guilty, to the charge.
Speaking to local media after Jonathan’s death, Bresha’s mother called her daughter a “hero” for ending the abuse she suffered.
Some of Bresha’s family said the fatal shooting was a long time coming, though the abuse claims divided her relatives.
Bresha’s maternal aunt described a home destroyed by years of violence, saying that while Bresha and her siblings were not physically abused by their father, their mom was.
But Jonathan’s brother and sister-in-law denied those same allegations, telling PEOPLE in August that he was “not the monster he is being portrayed as.”
(PEOPLE does not generally identify juveniles accused of crimes. In this case, Bresha’s family chose to go public.)
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On Wednesday, Bresha’s attorney said in court that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression as a result of her father’s alleged abuse.
She received a mental evaluation while at a 30-day treatment facility during her detention, Freidman said. Her family hoped she would be able to receive more help between now and trial.
“She needs to be getting care — otherwise this current state is merely punitive and it will be very detrimental to her health long term,” Friedman tells PEOPLE.
“I think there’s a responsibility for this child to make sure she’s okay.”