Woman held for grand jury in stabbing
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- A young woman accused of fatally stabbing a Middle Tennessee State University basketball player gave police conflicting statements on the night of her arrest, authorities said at a preliminary hearing Thursday attended by MTSU basketball players.
Prosecutors at the hearing showed a videotape of police interviews with 18-year-old Shanterrica Madden after police found her roommate, junior Tina Stewart, dead at their apartment March 2. The case has been bound over to a grand jury.
In the videotape, Madden first told police that the two women got into a fight after Stewart called police on Madden for bringing a friend to the apartment who was smoking marijuana. Madden said they shoved and punched each other, but she did not stab Stewart.
"She pounded on my head and I pounded on her face," Madden said in the videotaped interview.
After the fight, Madden said she left the apartment for a while and then returned. She said she discovered Stewart had been stabbed when Stewart's boyfriend came over and found Stewart bleeding on the floor in her bedroom.
"I did not kill Tina," she said on the tape. "Tina was still alive when I left."
Madden told police that she had noticed a man she didn't know hanging around the apartment.
Both women's families were in the courtroom as well as other MTSU players; many of them cried during the playing of the videotape. Stewart's relatives from Memphis and their friends wore purple in the courtroom -- Stewart's favorite color.
After further questioning by police, the tape indicated, Madden changed her account. Madden said that in the course of their fight, Stewart was beating her head on the floor and so Madden grabbed a kitchen knife that was in Stewart's room, according to the recording.
On tape, Madden said she held the knife in front of her and stabbed Stewart once in the chest and Stewart fell to the floor.
"I didn't want to stab her," Madden said on the tape. "She was hitting my head too hard."
Madden has been charged with first-degree murder but her attorney argued it was self-defense.
Police detective Michael Taylor testified that Stewart had multiple injuries, including the fatal stab wound to her chest.
He said he believed that Madden brought the knife into Stewart's bedroom and stabbed her. He said he believed the other injuries on her shoulder, arm and neck were inflicted as Stewart was fighting back.
"Stewart had lost enough blood that she could not fend off her attacker anymore and fell to the floor," Taylor said.
But Joe Brandon Jr., Madden's attorney, pointed out that Madden had a cut above her eye and her face was swollen. He asked why police brought the first-degree murder charge when Madden, who stands under 5 feet, was being beaten up by a 5-foot-7-inch tall college basketball player.
Taylor said he believed that the stabbing was premeditated.
Brandon also asked the detective about Twitter and Facebook postings that Brandon has said in court filings show that Stewart hated Madden and that Stewart intended to hurt Madden.
But prosecutors objected, saying the authenticity of those postings hasn't been determined.
The grand jury is scheduled to meet in May and Madden remains free on bond.
Stewart's teammates, the 11th seeded Lady Raiders, played in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament on Sunday, losing 56-41 to Georgia.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press