MTSU basketball player stabbed to death, roommate charged
March 3, 2011 3:05 PM CST
Tina Stewart, 21, was stabbed to death Wednesday night.
Roommate Shanterrica Madden was arrested and charged with first degree murder.
The incident happened at the Raiders Crossing apartment complex on Hazlewood Street.
Madden, 18, appeared in a Rutherford County courtroom Thursday morning.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A freshman at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro is in jail, charged in the stabbing death of her roommate, a Lady Raider basketball player.
Tina Stewart, 21, of Memphis, was stabbed multiple times at the Raiders Crossing apartment complex on Hazlewood Street Wednesday night.
She was transported to Middle Tennessee Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.
Her roommate, 18-year-old Shanterrica Madden, also of Memphis, was arrested and charged with first degree murder.
She is being held in the Rutherford County jail without bond.
In a court appearance Thursday morning, her attorney claimed self-defense.
Joe Brandon said the roommates started fighting when Madden turned the knife in Stewart's possession onto her.
A judge agreed to Brandon's request that Madden be photographed by police to document her swollen eyes and an abrasion above her left eye as proof of the fight.
Initially, Murfreesboro police spokesperson Kyle Evans said authorities arrested another individual. That person has since been ruled out as a suspect.
Police were also searching for a third person of interest but did not immediately consider her a suspect.
In a press conference at the university 30 miles southeast of Nashville Wednesday night, MTSU President Sidney McPhee expressed his condolences.
"The entire university is grieving over the loss of Tina Stewart. A wonderful, talented and vibrant young woman and also a very gifted athlete," McPhee said.
He continued, "I speak for the entire university in expressing our deepest sorrows in Tina's passing and our most profound sympathies to her family. Our hearts are heavy with grief and our thoughts and prayers are with her family."
Athletic Director Chris Massaro expressed shock and great sadness.
"This is an unspeakable tragedy to one of our family members. Our biggest concern is with Tina and her family," Massaro said, adding, "The team is devastated, but we'll work through this together. I will deal with this one step at a time."
The school planned to have grief counselors available beginning Thursday.
In addition, McPhee opened up the steps in front of the Murphy Center Wednesday night for remembrances to be left in honor of Stewart.
A vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Murphy Center to honor her life.
Stewart, a junior guard, averaged 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 28 games this season for the Blue Raiders.
Her boyfriend KC Anuna, a basketball player himself, found her stabbed in her apartment.
Anuna told Nashville's News 2 the two met before the summer before her freshman year and had been dating ever since.
"Tina's a sweet girl [and] strong, she didn't take anything from nobody, just really tough, strong character," he said. "Her life just changed around since I met her, for the better."
Anuna insinuated Stewart and Madden had problems in the past and said her death was avoidable.
"She called the courtesy officer, the courtesy officer should've told somebody to get out, not let them work it out, because they tried to work it out before, so this could've been prevented," he said, adding, "Tina's tough, she's tough and she'd want everybody to be tough in this time."
MTSU is the No. 1 seed from the East in the Sun Belt Conference tournament and scheduled to play its first game Sunday in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Massaro met individually Thursday with players from the team and said he would let the squad decide if they want to play in the upcoming tournament.
The team originally had been scheduled to leave Friday for Arkansas.
Both the Blue Raiders and coach Rick Insell will be talking with reporters Thursday afternoon before the vigil.