Madden testifies on fourth day of trial
After the courtroom lunch break, Whitesell finished the prosecution’s cross-examination, and both Madden’s mother and English teacher have been on the stand.
Madden was emotional throughout her testimony, continuously apologizing.
“I’m sorry she can’t be with you right now,” Madden said to the Stewart family, who have been sitting on the right side of the front row. “If I could change it, I would. I would have tooken my own life.”
Madden said she didn’t remember how she got Stewart’s phone, or if she had her keys. The prosecution argued she had time to remember.
She said she didn’t wash her hands, but she did wipe them off on the blanket, along with the blade of the knife.
The prosecution asked if she had planned to run, and Madden said she did not. However, she said she was upset Karlisha Caldwell refused to pick her up from the apartment.
“She left me there, and I didn’t understand why she left me there,” Madden said.
Madden also told the courtroom she didn’t call 911 because she was looking for the number to call campus police. She made the same statement on the interview tape with Detective Taylor shown in court yesterday.
Madden’s mother, Shantel, took the stand next. She said her daughter had always been a good girl, and that March 2 was the “saddest, most terrible day of my life, other than this trial.”
She opened her time on the stand by addressing the Stewart family.
“I would like to say I am sorry for the Stewart family for what is happening,” she said.
Shantel also said she was sorry she had encouraged Madden to talk to the office about the situation with Anuna. She said if she hadn’t, the altercation may have never occurred.
“I was being a concerned mama,” she said.
The day of March 2, Madden spoke with her mother several times. Her mother sent her a text inquiring after her eye. Madden had been struggling with an eye condition that was supposed to be taken care of by a Memphis optometrist the following week. Madden said in her testimony the pain caused by her eye was a contributing factor during the fight with Stewart.
Shantel said her husband, Frank Madden, told her earlier that week that he had a feeling something wasn’t right, and it has since affected their marriage.
Madden had withdrawn from her classes at MTSU, and Madden’s parents planned for her to stay in Memphis after spring break and go to college there.
Later that day, after the altercation, Madden called her mother and told her there had been a fight between her and Stewart. She did not tell her mother Stewart had been stabbed, and when Shantel heard Anuna yelling at Madden, she told Madden to run.
Shantel said she and her husband got in the car to drive to Murfreesboro, and were told Madden had been arrested for first-degree murder upon their arrival at the Murfreesboro police department.
Attorney Joe Brandon was hired to represent Madden by the next day.
Shantel was excused from the stand upon becoming very emotional.
“She didn’t know what to do, she has never been in a fight before,” Shantel said.
Karen Ford, Madden’s English professor, testified Madden was a “very good, very successful” student. She could not release grades due to FERPA.
The judge called for an end to the day’s events. The court will resume on Monday at 9 a.m., and the jury will begin deliberation.
The prosecution cross-examined Madden after the 10-minute recess issued by judge Don Ash.
Attorney Bill Whitesell asked Madden to explain to why she did not kill herself after she told the court that she experienced suicidal thoughts after stabbing Stewart.
“After I looked at Tina’s motionless body, I saw [the knife] was bent,” Madden said. “I wish I had just killed myself. I wish I had gotten another knife.”
Madden explained to the jury that the knife was curled around at the end and that is why she chose not kill herself. The prosecution argued against that portion of Madden’s testimony, saying the photos of the knife shown in court contradict her claim. None of those photos revealed the end of the knife’s blade to be curled. She later testified that other photos of her taken at the jail revealed no evidence of a suicide attempt.
The defendant also said that some of the yelling Renee Reese heard was Madden during the altercation.
“I am the one that yelled, ‘Stop! Stop! You’re hurting my heart!” Madden said. “I said that because my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest. I was just so scared.”
Madden explained to the jury again that she repeatedly told Stewart to please stop and to let her go. She also got up to demonstrate to the jury how she stabbed her by showing the motions she took.
“I got the knife off the bed,” Madden said. “After I stabbed her, Tina went backwards and then hit the ground face down. She was standing over me when she was stabbed, and I was only holding the knife with one hand.”
After the stabbing, Madden testified that she put the knife in the bag along with the Tinkerbell blanket found on the floor next to the bed.
Madden said she asked Reese to hold the clear garbage bag with the contents. Earlier in the trial, Reese testified that she had not held the bag in order to not leave any fingerprints.
Reese said all she wanted to do at the time of the altercation was leave the apartment. However, Madden testified that she held the bag, but was really concentrating on leaving the apartment.
Reese was the friend of Madden’s that smoked marijuana with her in the apartment that afternoon, and was there during the altercation.
Day four of Madden vs. State of Tennessee began with the defendant on the stand giving her account of the events of March 2, 2011.
Madden said the relationship between herself and Stewart began as amicable.
“We talked, we laughed. It was a good relationship,” Madden said.
Madden and Stewart’s boyfriend, K.C. Anuna, didn’t speak much, and Madden said she was uncomfortable with him being at the apartment regularly. The tension built on Jan. 17, when Madden’s mother, a cosigner on the Madden’s Raiders Crossing lease, called the office about Anuna staying overnight.
Madden recalled one occasion when Anuna came into the apartment soon after she had bathed, and she was without a bra. She said Anuna saw that she was uncomfortable, and apologized.
Madden then spoke with the Raiders Crossing staff about the situation, and they set up a meeting with the roommates. Jennifer Davidson, a community assistant at the complex, called Stewart and left a voicemail. Stewart did not come to the meeting, Madden said.
Stewart and Madden discussed the situation afterward, and Madden said she felt good about the conversation. However, Madden said Anuna resumed staying at the apartment two nights later.
She began to stay with Karlisha Caldwell in Corlew Hall on campus to avoid the couple.
On March 2, Madden said she and Renee Reese bought marijuana on campus, and went back to the Raiders Crossing apartment she shared with Stewart to smoke it. Not long after they began to smoke, Courtesy Officer Jensen knocked on the door and asked to search Madden’s bedroom. Madden said she consented.
Stewart was present when Jensen arrived, and Madden said she saw her.
“She just looked at me and smirked, like she was happy he was there,” Madden said of Stewart’s reaction to the officer’s arrival.
After Jensen told the girls to flush the roach and take out the garbage, he left, and Madden said she went to confront Stewart. Madden said her first instinct was to get Reese and leave the apartment, but she wanted to talk to Stewart.
“I didn’t want her to have any problems with me or her not to like me,” Madden said.
Madden told the courtroom that Stewart opened the door, and the girls began arguing. Stewart said to leave, and Madden said she turned to go, but Stewart pushed her, turning the altercation from verbal to physical.
“I was just scared,” Madden said. “I just wanted it to stop.”
Madden said Stewart hit her head repeatedly and pulled out her hair. Madden repeatedly said on the stand that she was in pain and was afraid. She said she was “pleading with” Stewart to stop. She saw the knife on Stewart’s bed during the fight.
“I picked up the knife to defend myself,” Madden said. “She wasn’t listening to me. I was in fear that I was going to get hurt and it would be a major injury.”
Madden said she does not deny stabbing Stewart.
“I should have helped her,” Madden said, crying. “I could have saved her and I’m sorry.”
Madden said she disposed of the evidence because she didn’t know what else to do.
She also said she didn’t tell anyone because she couldn’t believe she had done it.
After the altercation, Madden said she suffered mentally.
“I wanted to kill myself,” Madden said. “I didn’t mean to hurt her. I wasn’t trying to do it.”
Madden said she rarely smoked marijuana, and has never consumed alcohol. She was majoring in political science and criminal justice, and minoring in pre-law at MTSU.
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