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MTSU ‘rising star’ killed by roommate

Tina Stewart, 21, a graduate of Central High School and a rising star on the MTSU Lady Blue Raiders basketball team, was fatally stabbed at a Murfreesboro apartment complex Wednesday night, police confirmed. Tina Stewart, 21, a graduate of Central High School and a rising star on the Middle Tennessee State University Lady Blue Raiders basketball team, was fatally stabbed at a Murfreesboro apartment complex Wednesday night, police confirmed.

Shanterrica Madden, an 18-year-old MTSU freshman, was charged with first-degree murder in Stewart’s death on Thursday. Madden, who was Stewart’s roommate, is from Memphis, where she also graduated from Central High School.

Memphis native Tina Stewart started four games among the 26 in which she played for the Lady Raiders. She is the daughter of Ida and Adrian Jackson of Memphis and has three siblings, Adrian, Monika and Miesha.  She is shown here with family members, including her father, after a MTSU road game against the University of Arkansas-Little Rock two weeks ago. (Photo by Karanja A. Ajanaku)

According to a Murfreesboro Police Department spokesman, Madden stabbed Stewart during an argument. And Madden’s attorney, Joe Brandon, has said his client acted in self-defense.

Madden was arraigned in Rutherford County General Sessions Court on Thursday morning and was being held in jail pending a bond hearing next week.

Stewart suffered multiple trauma wounds, according to police who were dispatched to the scene of a disturbance at the apartment complex at 6:48 p.m.

“She (Stewart) was a wonderful, vibrant young woman and a gifted athlete,” MTSU President Sidney McPhee said Wednesday night. “This is a horrible, unspeakable tragedy.”

At Central, Stewart averaged 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, two steals and 1.8 assists per game as a senior for coach Niki Bray.

Named Best of Preps by The Commercial Appeal as a junior and senior, Stewart was voted to the all-district team and to the all-district tournament team as a senior. Stewart’s Central High teammates included Jamila A. Ajanaku, also a Lady Raider.

Bray spoke with the Tri-State Defender as she traveled to Murfreesboro Wednesday night.

I want to get up there for her mom and dad really bad. It’s just a horrible thing. You just can’t wrap your brain around it,” said Bray.

“She was a kid who had to scratch and claw for everything she’s ever gotten out of life. She’s been through some of the most difficult struggles a person can go through,” said Bray.

“Here she is on schedule to graduate, engaged to be married, the first one in her whole family to go to college. My phone has been ringing a lot. All of the players are so upset. It’s a very difficult situation.”

Stewart – whose full name was Clantina Marie Lapae Stewart – was born on Oct. 17, 1989. She was a rising star at MTSU, where she played a pivotal role in last Sunday’s  64-56 victory Sunday afternoon over rival Western Kentucky inside the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro. That win ensured the Lady Blue Raiders of at least a share of the Sun Belt’s top record, a bye in the upcoming conference tournament in Hot Springs, Ark., and was the seventh-straight win in the series.

Stewart hit a crucial three-point shot that her teammate, senior Anne Marie Lanning, later called the gamechanger. 

“That was huge. She came out and just knocked it down and put us up seven,” said. Lanning.

“That was one of the biggest momentum changers that we had. Then she came down and hit her free throws. She just played a big role in the game and I was very proud of her. “

The MTSU Blue Raider family scheduled a vigil at the school’s Murphy Center for Thursday night.

A Tina Stewart Women’s Basketball MTSU Foundation fund has been established. Mail contributions to MTSU Foundation, PO Box 128, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Stewart’s death comes just two weeks after an argument resulted in a shooting on the MTSU campus near the Business and Aerospace building. That injury was not life threatening, the university said. In that case, a 20-year-old student, Justin Macklin, allegedly was charged with shooting Austin Morrow, a former MTSU student.


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