Finch Reaction to Testimony

June 12, 2009 7:38:50 PM PDT
An emotional struggle for the family of an Olympic athlete as they wait for a judge's decision. They are now waiting for a ruling that could launch a trial against Cliff Finch for trying to kill Fresno Police Officers.Finch's family says he suffered from a severe mental breakdown when the shooting happened. They say they heard shocking evidence in a hearing this week.

Fresno officers detailed what happened on September 24, 2007 after a wild chase down city streets. Fresno Police Sgt. Richard Mendoza said, "I could see the top of defendant's head. I could see a weapon. I observed the defendant to fire. I observed glass bust out of the truck."

Officers believe Cliff Finch fired several rounds at them. In turn, officers unleashed a barrage of gunfire hitting Finch who is now partially paralyzed. Finch is the father of Olympic snowboarder Andy Finch. Andy sat in court and listened to the evidence and said, "I know my dad didn't know what was happening. I've had many conversations with him to try to get that out of him. I had just as many questions as anyone in that court room."

The defense attorney claims Cliff Finch suffered from a severe mental breakdown possibly related to his Vietnam War service.

Prosecutor Samuel Dalesandro said Finch knew what he was doing and intended to kill the officers. The judge plans to decide on Monday if the 60-year-old, wheelchair bound man will go to trial.

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