SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - An assistant director in Stanford's Admissions office has been arrested on charges of attempted murder, domestic violence and assault. James Shirvell is accused of stabbing his girlfriend while in a drug induced state.
He made his first court appearance Wednesday, where a judge denied bail. The 26-year old is accused of stabbing his live in girlfriend with an 8-inch butcher knife, while the two were on LSD.
Shirvell's attorney Eric Safire says, "I mean there's nothing in his history that indicates any reason for any kind of psychotic break. I think it was a bad acid trip."
In court, Shirvell's family and friends vouched for Shirvell's character and so did his girlfriend's family.
They read a letter on her behalf in which she described Shirvell's pure goodness and pure intentions.
She called what happened a horrific accident in which he seemed "possessed by another force."
Safire says, "He's got a degree from Yale University. He's been employed with Stanford University for the past two years on a full time permanent basis. He's had no prior contacts with the court. He's lived an exemplary life."
According to attorneys, Shirvell had taken LSD on at least four prior occasions. But they say on this night, he grabbed a knife from the kitchen butcher block and stabbing his girlfriend repeatedly in the back and shoulder, collapsing her lung.
Officer Robert Rueca with the San Francisco Police Dept says, "Officers that arrived on scene determined that a domestic violence incident had occurred."
Alex Bastian, spokesperson with the San Fransisco DA's office says, "The charges are very serious and the injuries are also very serious. We have a victim here who is in the hospital. She's recovering from her injuries."
Stanford officials released a statement saying Shirvell has quote "been placed on leave and will not be coming on campus or performing any admissions work."
The judge requested an evaluation of his mental health.
Safire says, "I'm perfectly willing to do that. It's just unfortunate he has to remain in custody until that's done."
The judge said she might reconsider bail once an in custody psychiatric evaluation is complete. Shirvell's preliminary hearing is set for April 5.