Two sentenced in fatal stabbing of Fruitland man

Elijah Shirley sentenced to 10 years, Michael Shirely gets five years in the murder of Brandon BlueEyes

Joshua Kellogg
Elijah Calvin Shirley

FARMINGTON — Two brothers who were involved in the fatal stabbing of a Fruitland man in March 2015 have been sentenced in federal court.

Elijah Shirley, 31, and Michael Shirley, 32, were sentenced on Tuesday in Albuquerque for the murder of Brandon BlueEyes on March 21, 2015, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Elijah Shirley was sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison and three years of supervised release.

Michael Shirley was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Michael Jay Shirley

They and a third brother, Maynard Shirley, 38, were indicted on April 14, 2015. They faced charges in connection to stabbing BlueEyes with a knife, assaulting his father with a weapon and causing serious bodily injury, according to Daily Times archives.

The brothers were accused of forcing entry into BlueEyes' trailer at about 2:45 a.m. March 21, 2015, and stabbing him while several family members were asleep in the residence, according to the criminal complaint against the brothers.

Elijah Shirley pleaded guilty on Sept. 21 to voluntary manslaughter and admitted to stabbing and killing BlueEyes. He was facing a first-degree murder charge.

Brandon BlueEyes

That same day,  Michael Shirley also pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact. During his plea agreement, he said he assisted Elijah Shirley by burning his brother's car and transporting and securing housing for Maynard Shirley.

Maynard Shirley pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to being an accessory after the fact in connection to BlueEyes' death.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 13, according to the press release. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he will be sentenced to three and a half years in prison, as well as supervised release.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.