Wednesday, March 12 2014 11:21 AM EDT2014-03-12 15:21:30 GMT
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Wednesday, March 12 2014 11:18 AM EDT2014-03-12 15:18:03 GMT
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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -
A jury found Shanterrica Madden guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of her roommate, Lady Raider basketball player Tina Stewart in March 2011.
Sentencing for Madden is set for July 17.
"It was definitely a unanimous decision with great discussion," said jury foreman Tyler Forrest.
Forrest said the jury spent nearly an hour discussing the possibility of first-degree murder before taking that off the table.
"The holdup was really, 'where the knife was.' Was it in the bedroom, did she have it with her when she brought it in," Forrest said. "There was no hard evidence about that."
Being home away from family in Hamilton County has been the hardest part for jurors.
"It's always hard, but it's a good service," Forrest said, "I think everybody was glad to do it, but we're very glad it's over too."
It's been an emotional trial for Tina Stewart's family and friends. They openly wept during the state's closing arguments Monday, and Stewart's mother left the courtroom in tears after the verdict. They chose not to comment.
But Shanterrica Madden's father said this was not the verdict they had hoped for, but will accept it.
"We still walk in faith," said Frank Madden, outside his attorney's law office. "Faith is going to keep us up, and our faith is going stay strong and together. My heart goes out to the Stewart family."
Rutherford County District Attorney General Bill Whitesell said he knew trying to convince the jury how that knife used in the stabbing got into Stewart's bedroom would be a challenge.
"The one thing we could never prove is we could not put the knife coming in the room, and we knew that would be a weakness of the case," Whitesell said.
Whitesell said the strongest part of the argument were the actions after the stabbing.
"The fact that she shut the door and turned off the light and left her to die," Whitesell said.
A second-degree murder conviction can carry a sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison. Madden is a first-time offender, which will likely play a role in how much time she actually serves.
Jurors heard emotional testimony and even saw tears from Shanterrica Madden on the stand Saturday in her murder trial. Madden took the stand hoping to convince the jury the fatal stabbing was in self defense.
"She kept hitting my head. It was paining. I was hurting, and she wouldn't listen to me. I was just scared," Madden testified.
A tearful Shanterrica Madden told the jury what happened that tragic day when she stabbed Tina Stewart death.
"I was in fear of my life. I thought I was going to get hurt, I was scared," Madden testified.
Madden said at some point she grabbed a knife off Stewart's bed.
"I wanted to defend myself, she wasn't listening to me she wouldn't let me go," Madden told the jury.
Her attorney, Joe Brandon, asked what was going through her mind after everything was over.
Madden responded, "I wasn't myself. I'm sorry I hurt her. I'm sorry I didn't help her. If I could do it all over again, I would help her."
Madden shocked the court by saying after she stabbing Stewart she wanted to take her own life with the same knife, but the knife was bent and she couldn't unbend it.
"I wanted to kill myself," Madden testified.
Rutherford County District Attorney Bill Whitesell tried to poke holes in Madden's account of what happened in that apartment room.
"You know, in order for self defense you have to be in fear of deadly bodily harm," Whitesell told Madden.
Whitesell said during cross-examination that if Madden wanted to kill herself, she could have done it with the other knives in the kitchen and the ones she threw in the trash.
"Isn't it a fact that you want sympathy from jury, because you want them to feel sad for you?" Whitesell asked.
The defense only called three witnesses, including Shanterrica Madden's mother, Shantel. She tried to apologize to the Stewart family, but she broke down and cried.
Defense attorney Joe Brandon asked for an acquittal, but the judge said no.
Shanterrica Madden delivered a lengthy taped statement to Murfreesboro police detectives just a few hours after Tina Stewart was found dead at their off-campus apartment on March 2, 2011.
In custody during that statement, Madden appeared to be calm and collected as she recalled conflicting accounts of what happened to Stewart that night.
"She shoved me, and I shoved her back," Madden told detectives.
Before telling detectives she stabbed Stewart during a fight, Madden told police that Tina Stewart was alive when she left the apartment and a stranger must have come in behind her to stab Stewart.
"You have blood on you that you can't explain," Murfreesboro police Det. Mike Taylor said during the recorded conversation.
Taylor testified Friday that he wasn't believing Madden's story, and he said Madden had blood on her hands and shirt, as well as injuries to her face and arms that night.
Taylor said when he left the room during the interrogation, Madden would wipe her hands.
"My theory is that you did this. Your emotions got the best of you," Taylor said during the interrogation.
Madden then changed her story.
"I stabbed her, because she was hitting my head too hard," Madden replied.
During the police interrogation, just hours after her roommate was found dead, Madden calmly asked police if she could go home to get her clothes from her apartment.
Earlier Friday, Renee Reese testified Friday that she and Madden walked to the off-campus apartment on March 2, 2011, in order to smoke marijuana. They did not realize that MTSU basketball player Tina Stewart was in her room, where she called a courtesy officer to complain about the drug use. Madden confronted Stewart once the officer left.
Reese heard heated words and then loud bumps. When she looked into Stewart's room the two were fighting. Madden came out with bruises and blood on her arm.
Reese said she saw Stewart on the floor and left the apartment, but later found out that the basketball player was dead via Twitter. She then went to police to file a report.
Earlier in the day, K.C. Anuna, Stewart's boyfriend, gave his account of how he found out that Stewart was dead.
On Thursday, jurors in the murder case against a former Middle Tennessee State University freshman heard technical details of the case and the aftermath of Tina Stewart's death Thursday.
A detective, police officer and apartment manager all testified in the case. Attorneys also introduced several photos from the crime scene.
And one of the last people to talk with Tina Stewart before she was stabbed to death took the stand.
Charnera Macklin was on the phone with Stewart when Shanterrica Madden went into Stewart's room and confronted her for calling security on her for smoking marijuana in her room.
"'I don't have to tell you anything. Stop, get out of here,'" Macklin said she overheard Stewart say. "After that, there was no more talking."
Former Raiders Crossing resident Michael Scot testified that he heard a loud commotion and heard someone go down the stairs, screaming. He also said he saw Tina Stewart's boyfriend chasing after Madden.
Wednesday opening statements, testimony
On Wednesday, attorneys in the murder trial presented very different pictures of the problems that lead to a deadly fight last year.
Lawyers gave those differing views during opening statements Wednesday in the murder trial of Shanterrica Madden. The 19-year-old is accused of stabbing her former roommate to death, MTSU basketball player Tina Stewart.
Madden, who is charged with first-degree murder, is claiming that she acted in self-defense.
Lawyers said the March 2, 2011, confrontation began after Stewart called police on Madden for smoking marijuana in their off-campus apartment.
Assistant District Attorney General Paul Newman said Stewart had been warned that being around marijuana smoke could cause her to fail a drug test and lose her basketball scholarship.
Raiders Crossing employee Erica Dotson took the call from Tina Stewart about Madden smoking marijuana in the apartment.
"They have random drug test, and she didn't want her roommate's smoking marijuana to affect her drug test, or lose her scholarship," Dotson testified.
Murfreesboro police officer Tim Jensen was the courtesy officer at the time he went to the apartment to check things out. He searched Madden's room and found what appeared to be a marijuana roach. But Jensen said it didn't smell like marijuana.
"She had admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day. I've worked narcotics before, and I know most of the time when you find that much tobacco somewhere, you probably had a cigar or something. I said, 'it's not illegal, so I can't arrest you for it, or get you evicted for it.' And I said, 'it doesn't look good. You need to get rid of it,'" Jenson testified.
After Jensen left the apartment, that's when Madden confronted Tina about her calling the police. The two started fighting in Stewart's bedroom. When it was all over, Stewart was stabbed.
Jennifer Davidson was working for the company that owns the apartment complex. She also lived there at the time and saw Shanterrica Madden running, and Stewart's boyfriend chasing her.
"'We got to fighting, there's blood everywhere, but I didn't do it,'" Davidson testified Madden said.
Madden was an honor student at a Memphis high school. The former MTSU freshman was on scholarship but was planning on transferring to Christian Brothers University the following year when Stewart died.
Before the stabbing, Madden had stopped staying at the apartment she shared with Stewart and was sleeping at a friend's room at MTSU. Madden complained to apartment management that Stewart's boyfriend, K.C. Anuna, was spending the night there frequently.
Madden's friend, Renee Reese, will be a key witness in the trial. Reese was smoking marijuana with Madden when Stewart turned them in to apartment security. Shortly after, the two started to fight.
"The next thing I know, I hear somebody say, 'Don't push me,' and then I saw Shanterrica walk back in. And the next thing I hear is boom, boom, boom," Reese said in a police interview, which was obtained by Channel 4 News.
"I then heard somebody say, 'She's got a knife, call 911, call 911. I thought it was Shanterrica saying that," Reese said. "I then heard Shanterrica saying, 'Please don't, don't, don't. My heart is beating. Please don't, don't, don't.'"
Madden told police the stabbing was in self-defense.
"I just grabbed that knife," Madden said. "She still had my head down, and I just did like this (making a motion with knife)."
Judge Don Ash has set aside eight days for the trial. The jury will be sequestered during the trial, which means they will have to stay together, eat together and can't watch the news or read the paper.
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, February 5 2014 2:56 PM EST2014-02-05 19:56:29 GMT
This accident was on Interstate 71.
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Thursday, February 3 2011 5:19 PM EST2011-02-03 22:19:13 GMT
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Tuesday, March 11 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-03-11 19:49:48 GMT
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