- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court says it won’t hear an appeal from a woman convicted of murder in the stabbing death of a Middle Tennessee State University basketball player.

Defense attorney Joe Brandon told the Daily News Journal (on.dnj.com/1mSdDQD) that justices refused to hear the appeal from Shanterrica Madden in the death of her roommate, Tina Stewart. But Brandon told the newspaper that he is prepared to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

He says justices need to make decisions on issues including juror questions and how judges can use social media.

Brandon said several states, including Tennessee, allows juror questions, but others don’t and some do only under certain conditions.

“The Tennessee Supreme Court called it an experiment,” Brandon said. “That’s what I call what you do with a two-liter Coke and a pack of Mentos; that’s an experiment. You don’t experiment with the Constitution.”

He said different states have different rules on how social media can be used by judges.

Brandon argued before the Tennessee Court of Appeals that his client should have a new trial 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 appellate court ruled in March to uphold Madden’s conviction on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence.

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Information from: The Daily News Journal, http://www.dnj.com

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