Atascadero man hoping latest conviction won't be considered third strike

The Atascadero man convicted earlier this month of assault with a deadly weapon in the stabbing of a 19-year-old transient in San Luis Obispo is seeking to avoid a third-strike sentence.

Harley Finney, 28, currently has two strikes on his record based on his conviction of two felony counts stemming from his beating of a man in 1999 in San Luis Obispo when he was 16.

Strikes may be considered in sentencing by the judge for certain felonies committed after a defendant turns 16.

But the judge has the discretion not to consider strikes in the defendant’s sentencing if the convictions don’t meet the spirit of the three strikes law, which takes into account the nature of the offenses.

A third strike sentence results in a minimum 25 years-to-life prison term.

Finney, who was in court today for further proceedings in his case, was convicted Nov. 1 of stabbing Chad Robinson on July 20 multiple times in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Finney’s lawyer, Raymond Allen, said he considers the 1999 beating that resulted in convictions of aggravated mayhem and aggravated assault a single strike because he believes they were part of the same offense. Prosecutor Dave Pomeroy feels the convictions constitute two separate strikes and stem from two unique incidents.

--Nick Wilson