Investigators Work Murder Case at Maharishi University

Fairfield police say the call about one student stabbing another came in just after 7 o’clock Monday night.

Police say the stabbing happened during mealtime in a dining hall at the Maharishi University of Management.

Authorities found Levi Butler, 19, of La Guinta, California bleeding from multiple stab wounds.

He died an hour later at the Jefferson County Hospital.

Police say Shuvender Sem, 24, was still in the dining hall and was arrested and charged with murder.

Campus administrators, through an attorney, said nothing except to note that the hearts of students staff and faculty go out to the victim’s family.

Investigators say with more interviews they hope to learn not only what happened Monday night, but why it happened.

There was little sign something terrible had happened Monday night, but many students saw it take place.

Mum Student Ismail Guzey told TV9, “What did people do when it happened, they tried to help this guy and call an ambulance and police.”

Authorities say Butler and suspect Sem probably knew each other, but they’re not sure how well.

The victim died from several wounds made by a small paring knife.

Police are trying to find if the knife came from the dining hall and say when Sem was arrested he did not resist.

“Not aggressive, not talkative, calm.”

But investigators still have an unsolved riddle.

They say Sem stabbed another student in the face with a ballpoint pen, just hours before he used the knife.

Neither the school nor the student reported that earlier attack until after the incident in the dining hall.

Jefferson Co Attorney Tim Dille told TV9, “We don’t have an explanation from campus. The student involved in the incident made a complaint later and those charges against Sem were filed once the complaint was made.”

The school has claimed transcendental meditation techniques taught at Maharishi can play a role in global peace and cut crime rates.

One former practitioner says the fallout from an on campus murder will just add to the on again, off again clash between townspeople and the school.

Jefferson County authorities filed a charge of assault with intent to commit serious injury in the alleged pen incident.

Sem made an initial appearance on that and the first degree murder charge Tuesday morning.

Maharishi school officials did say a memorial service for freshman Levi Butler will be scheduled on campus later.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Mar. 2, 2004
KCRG-TV9 News Reporter Dave Franzman

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday March 3, 2004.
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