14-year-old girl killed abusive dad in self-defense, attorney says

CLEVELAND -- Attorneys for a 14-year-old girl charged in the shooting death of her father say she did it to protect herself and her mom.

Bresha Meadows faces an aggravated murder charge after police say she shot and killed her father, 41-year-old Jonathan Meadows, last Thursday.

Jonathan was sleeping when his daughter allegedly pulled the trigger, says the victim's sister, Lena Cooper.

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The family of Mr. Meadows gathered for a funeral Friday at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland.

His family says the victim loves his family, especially his children.

But that's not the story from Bresha's mother, Brandi Meadows, who called 911 in the moments after Jonathan was shot.

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Brandi says her late husband was abusive, and that her daughter was only trying to protect her family.
"She is my hero," Brandi Meadows says. "I wasn't strong enough to get out and she helped me. She helped all of us. She's my hero...help us have a better life."

Attorney Ian Friedman, who represents 14-year-old Bresha, says the family experienced repeated abuses.

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Jonathan Meadows's family says they're not buying those claims.

James Blount, Jonathan's brother, admits "he drank a little bit, but he would have given his life for his kids."

"And he did," Blount says, "...one of them took his life."

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Family and friends are mourning the loss of Antonio and Dawn Armstrong.

Meantime, Lena Cooper says her brother shouldn't have died.

"This is cold and calculated," Cooper says. "My brother was murdered...no signs of abuse in the house."

Bresha previously ran away three months ago, attorneys say, and told relatives she feared for her life and her mother's life.
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