A woman convicted of killing her Middle Tennessee State University roommate is now trying to get a new trial.
Attorney Joe Brandon went before the appellate court in Nashville on Wednesday to argue for a new trial for Shanterrica Madden.
"We argue in this particular case that Ms. Madden did not receive a fair trial. It flies directly in the face of a fair trial. We submit we do have the appearance of impropriety on that issue," Brandon said.
Madden is serving 29 years for the murder of MTSU basketball star Tina Stewart.
The two were roommates at the time of Stewart's death.
Brandon argued the judge in Madden's trial and several of his friends had connections to MTSU.
He said the judge was among the Facebook friends of the university's women's basketball coach and therefore shouldn't have been involved in the case.
The district attorney's office says there's no proof of impropriety.
"There is no proof presented at trial, presented at the pretrial motions, at all, anything to prove beyond the fact that they were just Facebook friends. No connection, no anything to say that they had any kind of material relationship, anything that would be relevant to the case," said Assistant D.A. Michelle Consiglio-Young.
It could take six months to a year before Madden knows whether she'll get a new trial.
Stewart's family did not speak as they left court, but they later sent a statement that says, in part, "The hearing is like throwing salt on an open wound." They say they are "prayerful and have faith" and know the courts will make the right decision.
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