Atascadero man convicted of attempted murder for February stabbing

An Atascadero man was convicted Tuesday of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing of a man at Mr. Rick’s bar in Avila Beach in February, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Michael Darien Simmons, 44, was convicted after a jury trial that began last week.

Simmons was charged with slashing a man with a box cutter at Mr. Rick’s bar on Front Street about 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 5.

Simmons’ attorney, Matthew Guerrero, argued that Simmons was acting in self-defense.

A hearing to consider the validity of a strike on Simmons’ record – a conviction in the 1990s for continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 – is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Simmons’ sentencing is set for 20 days from that hearing. His maximum possible penalty is 27 years in state prison, prosecutors said.

--Nick Wilson