Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
July 12, 2022
On July 11, 2022, Judge Christopher Wilson sentenced Markis Caprice Dewayne Shirley to 25 years to life in prison, for first-degree residential burglary with person present (Penal Code [PC] §459) as a third strike, felon in possession of a gun (PC §29800), assault (PC §240) and possessing drugs in the jail while awaiting trial (PC §4573.6).
The case arose from an incident in 2020 when Shirley, Josie Craig, and Tavin Evans worked together to burglarize a motel room. Josie Craig left the victim’s motel room door ajar, allowing defendant Shirley and Tavin Evans to rush inside uninvited. The victim testified she was in the motel room with her boyfriend when Shirley entered the room with Evans and attacked her boyfriend. Surveillance video showed Shirley, Josie Craig, and Tavin Evans leaving the scene together in a vehicle. A few days later, an Arcata Police Department (APD) officer located the getaway vehicle, carrying Shirley and a loaded semi-automatic pistol.
Shirley previously pled guilty to two strikes (first-degree residential burglary (PC §459), and criminal threats (PC §422)) in a 2016 case. In that case, the victim testified that Shirley entered her motel room, threatened to cut her, and sexually assaulted her while holding a sharp object against her body. During the assault someone called the victim’s phone, and Shirley threatened to “cut” the victim if she did not convince the caller to stay away. The caller nevertheless arrived a few minutes later and chased Shirley away.
The District Attorney appreciates the courageous testimony of Shirley’s victims, in both this trial and the 2016 case. Prior to sentencing, the victim in this case submitted a letter to Judge Wilson expressing the painful consequences of the burglary.
The District Attorney also appreciates the time and attention of those who served as jurors. Their conclusions indicated that they weighed the evidence carefully.
Deputy District Attorneys Shelly Small and David Moutrie prosecuted the case with the assistance of District Attorney Investigator Marvin Kirkpatrick and Victim Advocate Velda Gooden. Defense Attorney Zachary Curtis represented Mr. Shirley.