Dec 31, 2015

Jury trial for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley charged with forcible rape, forcible threats, false imprisonment and sexual penetration by foreign object expected to start next week

The defense in the Markis Shirley case provided some discovery to the People this morning before the trial assignment calendar was called. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley.
Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People during trial assignment; DDA Stacey Eads is prosecuting this case.

The trial assignment for this case was continued until Monday, January 4, when the jury trial was supposed to begin. It is expected to proceed on Tuesday, January 5.

Mr. Lee waived Shirley's presence for today's hearing. He talked with family members and supporters of Shirley before and after trial assignment. The trial is expected to last 10 days, if there are full day sessions.

Nov 12, 2015

DA's office adds charges of sexual penetration by a foreign object, criminal threats and false imprisonment by violence in additton to forcible rape against Markis Shirley

Markis Shirley who was held to answer on the charge of forcible rape after his preliminary hearing, was arraigned on information this afternoon in Courtroom 1. The District Attorney has filed three additional counts against Shirley for the jury trial.

Count 1 is forcible rape, Count 2 is sexual penetration by a foreign object, Count 3 is forcible threats, Count 4 is false imprisonment by violence.

Oct 28, 2015

Markis Shirley held to answer on forcible rape charge; he laughed as victim tearfully testified about her being brutally raped him

A preliminary hearing for Markis Shirley was held this morning. He is charged with one count of forcible rape.

After testimony by the victim, her friend and EPD detective Ron Harpham, Judge Dale Reinholtsen held Shirley to answer on the charge of forcible rape.

Arraignment on information will be November 12 at 2 p.m.

DDA Stacey Eads subbed in for her colleague Ms. Brie Bennett. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley. The investigating officer is EPD's Detective Ron Harpham.

The victim, Jane Doe testified this morning, followed by her friend,  Nathan King, and the preliminary hearing was continued to this afternoon at 2:30 to wrap up with Detective Ron Harpham's testimony. Two victim witness representatives were in court this morning as was an unidentified older African-American lady, known to Shirley, who interrupted Doe's testimony and was admonished by Judge Dale Reinholtsen. Four other supporters for Shirley showed up in the afternoon.

Race was not brought up by the People but in his cross, Mr. Lee asked Jane Doe about Shirley being African American and her being Caucasian. This was in reference to how Shirley and,Jane Doe met. The victim is an escort and also trims for a living. According to her, Shirley came to her hotel room as a potential client, he did not have the money and instead of leaving, he allegedly raped her. Jane Doe said race was not an issue as long as the client was clean cut and treated her with respect.

Before court started, Mr. Lee talked with Shirley and asked if he would plead to the rape charge, Shirley refused.

Ms. Eads said that the People intended to provide additional evidence and add/amend charges to include criminal threats, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon other than a firearm. This was so that the People have the opton of filing additional charges for jury trial. Judge Reinholtsen said if the evidence is shown, the District Attorney's office can file additional charges.

Today's testimony opened the door for that possibility.

The victim testified how Shirley threw her on the bed, forced her face into the bed when she tried to speak, threatened to cut her unless she was a good girl". She broke down on the stand.

Shirley laughed during points of her testimony and again, when Detective Harpham testified about Shirley being apprehended and resisting arrest.

I will have posts later with detailed testimony from the witnesses.

Oct 15, 2015

$150, 000 bail set for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley, he mouths "wtf" in court

Shirley was just arraigned in Courtroom 5. On the new felony, sexual assault charge, the bail was set at $150,000.

There is one count in the new case which is rape by force/violence and duress. PC 261 (a) 2.

He also has 3 other cases, one is a violation of probation.

DDA Brie Bennett prosecuting. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis representing Shirley.

A woman was in court to support Shirley. She was admonished by bailiff for trying to talk to him. Shirley mouthed "wtf" to her later as bail was set and he was being served with a CLETS order in court.

Markis also has three other pending cases with charges that include taking a vehicle without an owner's consent, driving with a suspended and revoked license and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.


On 10/13/15 at about 10:29 a.m., an Officer with the Eureka Police Department spotted Markis Shirley walking near the 2500 block of Union Street.  After a quick foot pursuit, Shirley was taken into custody near the 2500 block of California Street. 
Shirley was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for sexual assault. 

Original Press Release:

On 10-4-2015, at about 0555 hours, Eureka Police Officers responded to a locale downtown motel for a report of a rape that just occurred. Investigators have developed probable cause to arrest Markis Shirley for the sexual assault. If any person has information where Shirley is located call EPD Dispatch Center at 441-4044. If any person has information about this crime please contact Detective Harpham at 441-4305.

Shirley is described as a BMA, about 6’1”, 135 lbs with black hair and brown eyes. 
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