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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 13, 2017

Navajo Man from Kirtland Sentenced for Being Accessory After the Fact to March 2015 Voluntary Manslaughter

ALBUQUERQUE – Maynard Shirley, 38, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 42 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction arising out of the March 21, 2015 death of a Navajo man.

 

According to court filings, Maynard Shirley and his brothers Elijah Shirley, 32, and Michael Shirley, 32, were charged with murdering a Navajo man and assaulting the murder victim’s father. The defendants committed the crimes on March 21, 2015, in Fruitland, N.M., in San Juan County, N.M. The three men were indicted on April 14, 2015, and charged with killing the victim by stabbing him with a knife, and assaulting the victim’s father with a dangerous weapon and causing him to suffer serious bodily injury.

 

Maynard Shirley pled guilty on Dec. 13, 2016, to a felony information charging him with being an accessory after the fact to the offense of voluntary manslaughter. In entering the guilty plea, Maynard Shirley admitted that from March 21, 2015 through March 23, 2015, he aided Elijah Shirley despite knowledge that Elijah Shirley had committed the crime of voluntary manslaughter. Maynard Shirley admitted helping Elijah Shirley by transporting him, securing housing for him, and burning his vehicle.

 

Elijah Shirley entered a guilty plea on Sept. 21, 2016, to a felony information charging him with voluntary manslaughter, and admitted stabbing and killing the victim in the heat of passion. Elijah Shirley was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2017, to 121 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

 

On Sept. 21, 2016, Michael Shirley also pled guilty to a felony information charging him with being an accessory after the fact, and admitted that after the victim was killed, he assisted Elijah Shirley by burning a BMW vehicle and Maynard Shirley by helping him secure housing and transportation. Michael Shirley was sentenced on Jan. 24, 2017, to 63 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

 

The case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock and Kayenta offices of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Niki Tapia-Brito and Nicholas Marshall.

Topic: 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated March 13, 2017