- Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2011

MURFREESBORO, TENN. (AP) - The attorney for the 18-year-old charged with stabbing Middle Tennessee guard Tina Stewart to death says his client acted in self-defense.

Shanterrica Madden, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing of Stewart, 21, of Memphis. Officers were called Wednesday night for a disturbance at women’s apartment, and Murfreesboro Police said in a statement they found Stewart stabbed repeatedly during an "altercation" with her roommate Madden.

Attorney Joe Brandon told The Associated Press on Thursday that Madden used Stewart’s own knife on her during a fight. He did not say what the altercation was about.

"Miss Stewart, who was an athlete, had Miss Madden down on the ground beating on her. Miss Madden has an abrasion above her left eye, looks like perhaps a fingernail. She has swelling to both of her eyes. And during the course of the fight, a knife belonging to Miss Stewart that was in Miss Stewart’s possession ended up getting used on Miss Stewart," Brandon said.

An MTSU freshman, Madden is being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder. Her attorney won a request that Madden be photographed by police to document her injuries as proof of the fight. Brandon said he will file a motion asking that bond be set for Madden. She is scheduled back in Rutherford County General Sessions Court on March 11.

Stewart was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead after being stabbed in the chest, according to Murfreesboro police.

Athletic director Chris Massaro was meeting individually Thursday with players from both the women’s team and the men’s team. Middle Tennessee (23-6) is the No. 1 seed from the East and scheduled to play its first game Sunday in Hot Springs, Ark.

Both the Blue Raiders and coach Rick Insell will be talking with reporters Thursday afternoon in their locker room before an on-campus vigil. The team originally had been scheduled to leave Friday for Arkansas.

Stewart averaged 5.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 28 games this season for the Blue Raiders.

Middle Tennessee president Sidney McPhee posted a letter on the Blue Raiders’ website to the university Thursday.

"I am writing you to convey my sorrow and grief - not only as the president of our University, but as a father myself - over the loss of Tina Stewart, a wonderful, talented and vibrant young woman and gifted student athlete," McPhee wrote.

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