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Farmington, NM: Shai Burbank Beaten to Death by Boyfriend, Police Say

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(11/11/13)  Authorities say Shai Burbank was beaten to death by her boyfriend in their Farmington, New Mexico apartment on November 11, 2013.

Farmington police early Monday found the body of a woman they said was beaten to death by her boyfriend inside the couples’ apartment in west Farmington.

Lionel Francis Sr., a 33-year-old Farmington man, called police at 8:42 a.m. to report “his lady” wasn’t breathing at their home at 2901 Parque De Oeste, Farmington police Detective Sgt. Brandon Lane said.

The home was locked and no one answered the door when police arrived. Officers forced their way in and found Shai Burbank, 32, dead on the floor, Lane said.

Read Farmington police: Woman found dead, suspect being questioned at Daily-Times.com

Francis is currently charged with second-degree murder and battery charges.  He has a history of domestic violence arrests.

Monday’s arrest was one of several times Farmington police have arrested Francis for domestic violence.

His first arrest was in October 2009. He later pleaded no contest to attacking his wife of seven years. He punched and kicked her late at night when their children were asleep, according to the affidavit for his arrest. He was intoxicated during the incident, and he beat his wife and broke the front window to his home on South Carlton Avenue, according to court documents.

In fall 2012, Francis was charged with battery against Burbank twice.

Burbank told police that on Oct. 19, 2012, she was driving Francis home from the movies when he started to punch her in the face as she was on Broadway Avenue. She parked the car, and he ran off, according to court documents.

Burbank called police the next day. An arrest warrant for Francis on misdemeanor battery charges in connection to the incident was filed in magistrate court on Nov. 7, 2012, according to court documents.

On Oct. 21, 2012, Francis returned to the couple’s apartment on Parque De Oeste and punched Burbank several times and broke her phone and the apartment window, according to court documents.

A day later, another arrest warrant was filed in connection to that incident in magistrate court.

Burbank’s then-6-year-old daughter witnessed the Oct. 21, 2012, attack. She told a police officer that “Francis was beating and punching my mom,” according to court documents.

In March 2013, Francis accepted a plea agreement in connection to the two charges. He pleaded “no contest” to one count of misdemeanor battery on a household member and was sentenced to supervised probation.

Read Murder suspect had history of battering women at Daily-Times.com

Shai is survived by two young children.

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