Police Blotter: Shirley brothers sentenced for murder and assault


Maynard Shirley, 38, one of three brothers arrested in connection with a murder last year in Fruitland, N.M. was sentenced Tuesday to 42 months in prison followed by three years of supervised probation.

Shirley, who lived in Kirtland, N.M., was convicted of being an accessory after the fact in the murder.

Elijah Shirley, 31, was sentenced to 121 months last January. Michael Shirley, 32, was also sentenced at that time to 63 months.

They all admitted in the plea agreements to murdering a Navajo man in Fruitland and assaulting his father, putting him in the hospital with injuries that he is still dealing with today.

Navajo police arrived at the scene of the homicide about 1 a.m. on March 21, 2015 after a woman, who turned out to be the sister of the victim who died and the daughter of the man who survived, according to police reports.

She said she was in the trailer where the assaults took place.

When Navajo police arrived on the scene, the first thing they saw was something that looked like blood on the wooden deck and on the door. When they went inside, they saw a man lying on the floor wearing blue boxers and socks soaked in blood. There was a woman, who is identified in the indictment as Jane Doe 2 holding him in her arms, “crying and extremely distraught.”

Police searched for a pulse but could not find one. They did find what looked like a large stab wound to the upper left chest area.

They next saw another man sitting on the couch near a pool of blood. He appeared to have multiple stab wounds.

Another female in the trailer, who was referred to as Jane Doe 3, said three unknown men broke into the trailer and began fighting with the man who later died. She said at one point, one of the men left the trailer and came back with a gun and she then heard a gunshot.

She also said one of the men who broke into the trailer had a knife that looked like a machete. She was also able to identify them, saying they were the Shirley brothers and that they all lived in Fruitland. She later said she had no doubts about their identity,

The second victim also reported hearing the noise and then left his room to see what was going on. It was at that point, he said, that a man he did not know attacked him.

Police talked to several other witnesses who identified the Shirley brothers as being the cause of the attack on the two men in the trailer.

Shortly thereafter, Navajo police began trying to find the Shirley brothers to ask them questions.

Michael Shirley was the first to be contacted and he agreed to come in at 3 p.m. and talk to Navajo police investigators and the FBI, but he never showed up or responded to phone calls.

Finally, family members said that Michael Shirley would talk to them at 3 p.m. but shortly before that time, they said he would not be coming. This kept on going on for another day until he finally came in to talk and then demanded to see an attorney.

His two brothers were taken into custody the following day.

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Categories: Police Blotter

About Author

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan has been writing about the Navajo Nation government since 1971 and for the Navajo Times since 1976. He is currently semi-retired and is living in Torrance, California, and continues to report for the Navajo Times.