Shanterrica Madden, a former Middle Tennessee State University student convicted last year of stabbing her roommate to death, is hoping to get a new trial.
Attorney Joe Brandon filed a brief Wednesday with the Tennessee Court of Appeals in Nashville with the goal of getting Madden's conviction overturned and a new trial granted in the stabbing death of MTSU basketball player Tina Stewart.
Brandon said Madden was not given a fair trial, because Judge Don Ash refused to recuse himself after Brandon discovered the judge and many of his Facebook friends had connections to MTSU.
Brandon also believes jurors being allowed to write questions and pass them to the judge to ask witnesses is also grounds for a new trial.
"If you want to experiment, you get a two-liter Coke and a pack of Mentos and you go outside and experiment. But you don't experiment with the United States Constitution and an accused right to a fair trial - a due process of law. You can't experiment with that, and we want this case reversed, and we think ultimately it will be reversed," Brandon said.
Rutherford County Assistant District Attorney J. Paul Newman said the district attorney's office feels very comfortable that the conviction will not be overturned. He said the trial was fair and the judge made all the proper rulings.
Madden is currently at the Tennessee Prison for Women serving a 29-year sentence for second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.
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