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Admission Assistant Director arrested on attempted murder, domestic violence charges

University has placed James Shirvell on leave

KHUYEN LE / The Stanford Daily

James Shirvell, an Assistant Director in Stanford’s Admission office, was arrested Sunday after allegedly stabbing a woman multiple times while under the influence of LSD, according to NBC Bay Area. Shirvell faces charges of attempted murder, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and “assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury.”

Shirvell, 26, was booked into San Francisco County jail at 12:15 a.m. on Mar. 3, according to the San Francisco sheriff’s department. His bail has been set at $1 million. 

If convicted of first-degree murder with premeditation, Shirvell could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, according to California state law. For second-degree attempted murder without premeditation, Shirvell could receive up to nine years in prison. Each of the felony assault and domestic violence charges carries up to four years in prison, as does the state assault with a deadly weapon charge.

According to NBC, which cited unnamed sources, the incident occurred this past weekend at a Potrero Hill house. The Daily has reached out to Shirvell for comment. 

The woman was also allegedly under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug, NBC stated.

Shirvell has worked for Stanford Admission since the fall of 2016 — first as an admission counselor and then as an assistant director — according to his LinkedIn profile. By Tuesday night, Shirvell’s name was not listed on the Stanford Admission webpage.

In an email to The Daily Wednesday morning, University spokesperson E.J. Miranda said Shirvell “has been placed on leave and will not be coming to campus or performing any admissions work.”

“We are continuing to gather information on this matter to inform next steps,” Miranda wrote. In an earlier email, he said Stanford did not learn of the arrest until Tuesday afternoon.


Contact Courtney Douglas at ccdouglas ‘at’ and Hannah Knowles at hknowles ‘at’


This article has been updated with new comment from University spokesperson E.J. Miranda. This article has also been updated with a fourth charge, time of booking, bail and possible prison sentences.

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Courtney Douglas

Courtney Douglas

Courtney Douglas is a senior staff writer. She served as Editor in Chief of The Daily's 254th volume and has worked for the paper since the beginning of her freshman year. Outside The Daily, she studies English and political science and is an avid long-distance runner. Originally from Coronado, California, she is an alumna of The Bishop's School.

Hannah Knowles

Hannah Knowles

Hannah Knowles is senior staff writer from San Jose who served as Volume 253 Editor-in-Chief. Prior to that, she managed The Daily's news section.