A 26-year-old assistant director of admission at Stanford University is facing attempted murder charges after police say he stabbed a woman multiple times while experimenting with LSD. James Shirvell was arrested March 3 after the drug-fueled attack, sources told NBC Bay Area. The woman’s condition and other details about the case hadn’t’ been made public as of March 6.
Shirvell was also charged with domestic violence, assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, according to records from the San Francisco County Jail. He remained in custody on March 6. It is not clear if Shirvell has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf. Shirvell was booked into the jail at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, records show.
The victim provided a statement that was read in court by her mother, according to SFGate.com. “James was not at all aware during the incident. He was possessed by another force and had no intent to do me harm. This was a horrific incident that doesn’t reflect his true character. He is still the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Shirvell has worked at Stanford in the admissions department since 2016, according to his Linkedin profile. He graduated from Yale University in 2014 and was a star member of the school’s track team while he was a student there. Shirvell is originally from Mystic, Connecticut.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shirvell & the Victim Were at a Home on Potrero Hill in San Francisco & Both Were Using LSD When the Stabbing Occurred, Police Sources Told NBC Bay Area
Police sources told NBC Bay Area that James Shirvell and the female victim were at a home in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco over the weekend when the assault occurred. Shirvell and the unidentified woman were both using LSD at the time of the stabbing, the sources told the news station. Shirvell is accused of stabbing the woman multiple times, the sources said.
NBC’s Mark Matthews reports that the victim and Shirvell live together. Sources told Matthews that the woman was stabbed in the head, neck and back. Matthews tweeted that Shirvell was “stoned on acid,” according to his sources.
San Francisco Police Department spokesman Robert Rueca told SFGate.com that the details of the case cannot be shared because of confidentiality requirements around domestic violence cases. Court documents in the case were not immediately available.
2. He Oversees Admissions From Los Angeles & Parts of Asia for Stanford
Shirvell has worked at Stanford University since November 2016. He was an admissions counselor until June 2018, when he was promoted to assistant director of admission. He oversees admissions in Los Angeles, China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. His name was removed from the university’s website on March 6.
“Mr. Shirvell has been placed on leave and will not be coming on campus or performing any admissions work,” Stanford spokesperson E.J. Miranda said in a statement to SFGate.com. “We are continuing to gather information on this matter to inform next steps.”
3. Shirvell, a Track Star at Fitch High School in Connecticut, Competed in the NCAA Championships at Yale & Majored in Environmental Studies
James Shirvell is originally from Mystic, Connecticut, where he was a standout runner at Fitch High School. He went on to be part of the track team at Yale University, while studying environmental studies at the New Haven university. Shirvell, a middle distance runner, competed in the NCAA East Regionals and the Division I NCAA Championships in 2013, along with the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He was also an honorable mention All-American and was part of the All-Ivy League team. He was also a team captain.
According to his Linkedin profile, Shirvell graduated from Yale in 2014. In 2012, Shirvell was a research assistant at Galapagos National Park, where he “worked to maintain the endemic status of the archipelago by conducting research on geckos and tortoises.” From 2011 to 2013 he was a sustainability service corps member at Yale and in 2013 he interned at FIOCRUZ, Brazilian Ministry of Health, where he, “conducted research in Salvador on the infectious disease, leptospirosis. I used this research for my senior thesis in Environmental Studies.”
After graduation from Yale, Shirvell was a dean’s fellow at Yale-NUS College. He, “helped create the first liberal arts college in Singapore. During my two years at the college, I was able to work in and gain perspective on many different areas of higher education,” according to his Linkedin profile. He also, “advised over 100 students as a residential advisor … helped modify the common curriculum as a member of the Sciences working group for the common curriculum review … helped create the athletics department … worked with the admissions department to read applications and interview prospective student.”
4. He Could Be Sentenced to Life in Prison With the Possibility of Parole if Convicted of Attempted Murder
Shirvell could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree attempted murder with premeditation, according to California state law. If prosecutors cannot prove premeditation, he could be convicted of second-degree attempted murder and be sentenced to up to nine years in prison.
The felony domestic violence charge also carries a potential sentence of up to four years in prison. The felony assault charge also carries a potential four-year sentence and Shirvell additionally faces up to four years in prison if convicted of the assault with a deadly weapon charge, according to state law.
5. Shirvell Is Being Held at the San Francisco County Jail on $1 Million Bail & Has Pleaded Not Guilty
James Shirvell is being held at the San Francisco County Jail on $1 million bail, records show. He was booked into the jail on Sunday and remained in custody Wednesday afternoon.
Shirvell was arraigned at the Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty. A bail motion was not made during court because of the “egregiousness” of the accusations, according to the Stanford Daily. His next court date is scheduled for March 13, when bail hearings can be made. Shirvell is under observation in jail, according to authorities. A psychiatric evaluation has been ordered.