MTSU Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

MTSU Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

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Shanterrica Madden Shanterrica Madden
Tina Stewart Tina Stewart

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The former Middle Tennessee State University student accused of stabbing her roommate to death has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Shanterrica Madden was in court Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea during her arraignment.  

Madden was charged with the murder of 21-year-old Tina Stewart, a Lady Raider basketball player. The alleged stabbing happened after the two got into a fight at their apartment.

The next step is deciding if Madden will make a plea deal or take the case to trial.  Right now, she's free on bond, and that is something the victim's family deeply opposes.

"Justice to us is her answering for what she did to my sister. Going to jail, hopefully for life.  She took a life, so her life should be taken also.  She shouldn't be free, she shouldn't be free right now," said the victim's sister Monika Jones.

If the case goes to trial, the judge set a tentative trial date for January 31 to February 3, 2012.

Both the prosecution and the defense agreed to the date, and the judge said it could be changed later if needed.

Madden's attorney had asked that she be allowed to skip her arraignment because she already knows what she's been charged with and does not plan to plead guilty.

According to the Daily New Journal, the prosecution had originally opposed the motion, but both sides agreed that Madden would appear in court.

The 18-year-old was indicted by a grand jury on July 7 on charges of first degree murder and tampering with evidence.

Madden told police she stabbed Steward in self-defense. In a videotaped interview, Madden told police after her arrest what happened in the apartment that lead her to stab her roommate to death.

In the video, Madden originally denied stabbing Stewart. She later went on to confess. Madden told police that Stewart had called the police on her for smoking marijuana.

She said she went to Stewart's bedroom to ask why. She said Stewart asked her to leave the room and as she did, she accidentally bumped her and that is when Stewart hit her.

She said that they were hitting each other and there was a knife on the bed. She said in the video that she grabbed it and stabbed Stewart in the chest area.

That's when she said she saw Stewart was not breathing and turned off the lights and closed the door to Stewart's room.

Madden told police she disposed of the knife in a trash can outside of the apartment complex. Police later found two knives in the trash.

Madden said she called a friend and her mother after the fight but did not tell them what exactly what happened. She also said Stewart's boyfriend came to the apartment, but she told him she wasn't there because she did not want him to find her.

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