MURFREESBORO, Tennessee — A Tennessee woman convicted of murder in the stabbing death of a Middle Tennessee State University basketball player has lost her appeal.
The Daily News Journal (http://on.dnj.com/1cVazhM) reports the Tennessee Court of Appeals handed down its opinion on Wednesday in the case of Shanterrica Madden, who was charged with killing her roommate, basketball player Tina Stewart. Madden argued that she killed Stewart in self-defense.
Defense Attorney Joe Brandon argued a new trial was in order because Judge Don Ash was a Facebook friend of Stewart's coach, Rick Insell. Prosecutors said the two men met once, but didn't know each other personally.
The appeals judges reaffirmed Madden's conviction on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.
"After review, we find that the defendant has failed to establish her entitlement to any relief on these claims. We affirm the judgments of the trial court accordingly," Judge John Everett Williams said in his court's opinion.
He said the defense failed to show "an abuse of discretion."
In a concurring opinion, Judge Camille R. McMullen said the state has little precedence governing use of social media by judges and relies on the Tennessee Judicial Ethics Advisory Opinion to monitor the issue and it says "while judges may participate in social media, they must do so with caution and with the expectation that their use of the media likely will be scrutinized."
"To the extent that any appearance of impropriety arose from this acquaintance, it was diminished by the trial court's action in fully disclosing his ties with MTSU and his concession that he had once met the witness in-person and had been Facebook friends with the prospective witness," McMullen said.
Information from: The Daily News Journal, http://www.dnj.com