Shanterrica Madden's attorney wants judge to recuse himself - WSMV Channel 4

Shanterrica Madden's attorney wants judge to recuse himself

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

Shanterrica Madden, the former MTSU student accused of stabbing her roommate to death, is scheduled to go to trial next month. But her attorney is asking that the judge remove himself from the case because of his connections to the university.

Attorney Joe Brandon argues in the motion that he discovered at least 182 connections to Middle Tennessee State University on Judge Don Ash's Facebook page. Brandon also mentions in the motion that the judge is a 1977 graduate of MTSU and has been a 20-plus year financial contributor. 

The motion states Ash also has a connection to Coach Rick Insell and the Lady Raiders basketball team and has even done fundraising for Braa MTSU, a fundraising arm for MTSU athletics. 

Tina Stewart was a member of the team when she was allegedly stabbed to death March 2, 2011 by her roommate, Shanterrica Madden. For those reasons and others, Brandon would like for Ash to remove himself from the case. 

"That motion speaks for itself. I went into great detail as to a number of reasons we believe recusal would be appropriate in this case," Brandon said.

Some of the Facebook exhibits presented in court are now under seal and not available to the public right. 

Assistant District Attorney J. Paul Newman said he's not at liberty to go into detail.

"We will be present in court during the hearing of those motions and we will make whatever appropriate comment at that time," Newman said.

Because of the extensive media coverage, Brandon also filed another motion, asking that trial be moved from Rutherford County or at least that a jury selected from somewhere else.

"The publicity has been over saturating in this case, all we want is a fair trial. In cases where they haven't been nearly the coverage, the venue has been changed," Brandon said.

State prosecutors filed a motion of their own, asking that once a jury is selected that it be partially sequestered, meaning they will be required to go to lunch together during the day, but will be allowed to stay at home rather than in a hotel. The judge will make a ruling on that as well. 

Ash will hold a hearing on the motions next week. 

Madden is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 31 of next year. 

Copyright 2011 WSMV. All rights reserved.

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Shanterrica Madden is on trial in the death of her former roommate, MTSU basketball player Tina Stewart. More>>

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