Former assistant Admission Director no longer working at Stanford following charges of attempted murder, domestic violence

March 21, 2019, 12:16 p.m.

James Shirvell, a former assistant director in Stanford’s Admission Office who pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to murder his girlfriend while under the influence of LSD, is no longer employed at Stanford, according to University spokesperson E.J. Miranda. He was released from custody on Wednesday on a $200,000 bail.

When asked if Shirvell was terminated from his position, Miranda wrote in an email to The Daily that Stanford would “not discuss the specific circumstances of his separation of employment.”

The University has conducted a review on the applications assigned to Shirvell in the Admission Office “to assure his assessments were sound,” University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell wrote in a Thursday evening email to the Stanford community.

Judge Rita Lin approved Shirvell’s bail at his Wednesday morning hearing in the San Francisco Superior Court following the conclusion of a psychiatric review. Two weeks prior, Lin had motioned to maintain Shirvell’s custody at the San Francisco County Jail #2 in the city’s South of Market district, in addition to filing a protective order to keep him away from his girlfriend. From March 3 until Wednesday, Shirvell was held in custody without bail.

After the review, “the judge felt comfortable that [the incident] was an anomaly,” prosecuting attorney Courtney Burris told The Daily.

Burris objected that this is only a “piece of the puzzle,” and that a toxicological review to determine that Shirvell had in fact taken LSD prior to the attack, as well as an explanation of LSD’s effects on the body, were necessary before Lin could make her decision.

The Daily has reached out to Shirvell’s attorney, Eric Safire, for comment.

Shirvell, 26, was charged with attempted murder, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and “assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury” after stabbing his girlfriend with a kitchen knife multiple times on March 3, inflicting stab wounds and lacerations that led to her hospitalization. He pled not guilty to all four counts at his March 6 arraignment.

His girlfriend has since been released from the hospital, and appeared at Wednesday’s hearing.

Shirvell’s bail was accompanied with a number of restrictions. He is not permitted to carry weapons or take drugs, and is subject to periodic drug testing and random searches. He was also placed on electronic home detention, which forbids him from traveling anywhere beyond his home and work, and requires him to wear an ankle monitor.

Shirvell’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 5 at 9:00 a.m.

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Stanford has conducted a review on the applications James Shirvell was responsible for assessing.

Contact Julia Ingram at jmingram ‘at’

Julia Ingram ’21 was The Daily's Volume 256 editor-in-chief. She is a New York City native majoring in English literature and working toward a career in news reporting. Contact her at jingram ‘at’

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