Atascadero man convicted in stabbing gets 29 years to life in prison

An Atascadero man convicted of stabbing a transient in San Luis Obispo last summer has been sentenced to 29 years to life in prison.

Harley Paul Finney, 28, received his sentence on Jan. 14 in Judge John Trice’s courtroom. Trice ruled that the conviction — on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon — counted as Finney’s third strike.

Finney’s two previous strikes were for beating a homeless man in San Luis Obispo with a skateboard in 1998, two days after his 16th birthday.

His attorney, Raymond Allen, argued the 1998 conviction should have counted as one strike because they were part of the same attack. But because Finney left the man for several minutes and returned and attacked him again, the prosecution successfully argued that Finney should receive two strikes in that case.

In the July case, Finney was accused of stabbing Chad Robinson at least 12 times on a path behind businesses on Higuera Street.

The stabbing came after an alleged fight involving several people near Mission San Luis Obispo during which Robinson put Finney in a chokehold.