Madden found guilty of second-degree murder
After the jury found Shanterrica Madden guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence, the prosecution, Madden’s father and an athletic coach commented in a small press conference outside the courthouse.
Attorney General Bill Whitesell said he thought Madden would have been convicted for first-degree murder if the prosecution could have proven she brought the knife into Stewart’s bedroom.
Their most convicting evidence was Madden turning out the lights and closing the door after stabbing Stewart, Whitesell said.
“There’s no excuse for that,” he said.
Whitesell also said he felt justice had been served in accordance with the court system.
“We feel like we presented all the evidence, and we have to respect the verdict,” Whitesell said.
Stewart’s family declined to comment, but Whitesell said he felt they were pleased she had been presented as a good person.
Diane Turnham, associate athletic director at MTSU, said she would remember Stewart for her spirit, her smile and her determination to make something of herself.
“She did [make something of herself],” Turnham said, smiling with tears in her eyes. “We’re a family at MTSU; we’ll never forget Tina.”
Frank Madden, father of Shanterrica, said he would stay strong, and his heart goes out to the Stewart family.
He said his family would deal with the sentencing in faith.
“The odds was against her, but God is still good,” he said.
Shanterrica Madden was found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the stabbing of Lady Raider Tina Stewart. She will serve 15-25 years for second-degree murder, and three to six years for tampering with evidence will coincide with her murder sentence.
Madden’s arraignment is July 16.
After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury has reached a verdict.
At 2:48 p.m., Shanterrica Madden was found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.
The jury was made up of three women and nine men, all hailing from Hamilton County.
The prosecution gave its final closing argument this morning with Bill Whitesell speaking on its behalf.
Whitesell argued the tension between the roommates was not, as Madden testified, because of Stewart’s boyfriend staying over frequently. Madden first mentioned utility overages to the front office, and there was no evidence in the apartment of Anuna living there– no clothes, no extra toothbrush, etc. Whitesell said it was a reason for Madden to hide behind so she could stay at Corlew Hall with her “pot-smoking friends.”
He also said the only explanation for the knife being in Stewart’s bedroom would be if she was eating. There were only fast-food wrappers found in her trash can, and Anuna testified Stewart was not in the habit of eating in her bedroom.
Whitesell added that Madden said she didn’t initially see the knife, and discovered it by feeling around on the bed for something to aid her, so that the defense could rule out premeditation.
Stewart told Madden to leave and not to touch her twice, according to the testimony given Thursday by Charnera Macklin, who was on the phone with Stewart at the time of the altercation.
“Does that sound like someone who wants to fight to you?” Whitesell asked the jury. “See if she was in a place she had a right to be.”
The prosecution also focused in once more on Madden’s conflicting stories over the course of the past year. The autopsy showed more wounds than Madden admitted to inflicting, and Madden lied to Reese the first chance she had to save Stewart.
Whitesell asked the jury, along the same vein as Brandon, not to allow their emotions to cloud their judgment.
“You cannot let sympathy obstruct the facts and the law,” Whitesell said.
Defense Attorney Joe Brandon, who is representing Shanterrica Madden in Madden vs. State of Tennessee, gave his closing argument.
The fight between the girls was “trivial,” he said, adding that all present should not be in court today over an argument that got out of hand.
“This day can be characterized as an unfortunate series of events that had an unforeseen result,” Brandon said.
He argued that none of the jury was present for the events that took place, and so none of them can actually claim to know exactly what happened.
Brandon said Jensen destroyed evidence by telling Madden and her friend, Renee Reese, to flush the marijuana roach. He also said Reese was afraid of Stewart, thinking she would come after her as well. Reese waited 30 minutes to call 911, and the call held incomplete information.
Officials were not thorough enough in their investigations, Brandon said, and it was not up to him as Madden’s attorney to follow up on their work. He cited Dr. McMaster’s addendum in the hairline scratch she missed during her first examination.
Tina Stewart, the victim, was also said to have been the one in the fight with the knife on her bed and the one who was beating Madden. He said she was “deceptive” and “strong-willed” to a fault.
The knife wound that killed Stewart was two inches deep, and the weapon was four inches long. Brandon said this proves Madden did not intend to kill.
“They put a picture of a pretty little girl on the screen…it makes you want to cry,” Brandon said, arguing the prosecution was playing on emotion.
Brandon closed his final argument by asking the jury for a verdict of ‘not guilty.’
“You all agreed to uphold the Constitution,” Brandon said.
At 9 a.m., Judge Don Ash opened what could be the last court session of Madden vs. State of Tennessee.
After giving the jury instructions, the prosecution– represented by District Attorney John Paul Newman– gave the first portion of its closing arguments.
Newman asked the jury to remember that Shanterrica Madden said in her testimony Saturday she could have saved her roommate and Lady Raider Tina Stewart on the night of March 2, 2011. He continued to say that Madden is guilty of killing Stewart by stabbing her, and that is not disputed.
Newman told the jury to “not abandon common sense” and get caught up in confusion caused by the defense.
“She intentionally stabbed Tina Stewart to death,” Newman said.
He argued that Madden is the least credible of the 47 witnesses the jury has heard from over the past four days. She tells falsehoods and will say and do anything to hide the truth, he said.
Newman also addressed the issue of premeditation, which is a part of Madden’s indictment. He said Madden made the decision to pick up the knife and use it to harm Stewart, regardless of where the weapon was. Newman added that he did not believe the knife was on Stewart’s bed, as Madden testified. He thinks Madden brought the knife into the bedroom.
“Ask yourself why she checked to see if Stewart was still breathing if there was not intent to kill,” Newman said.
Newman also said Madden took Stewart’s one lifeline away from her – her cell phone, which Madden ultimately used against her.
“Tina Stewart was 21, and she will never, ever, ever be 22,” Newman said.
Newman said the one thing the jury can do is bring justice. He said the truth is that Shanterrica Madden is ultimately guilty of first-degree murder and destruction of evidence.
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