Cliff Finch Doctors' Report

September 10, 2009 8:08:03 PM PDT
Major developments Thursday for Cliff Finch - the father of Olympic snow boarder Andy Finch. Doctors reach a conclusion that could help the 60 year old avoid time in prison. A judge appointed two doctors to evaluate Finch's mental health. Both believe Finch was insane when he led police on a wild case that ended in a shoot out. Wheelchair bound- Cliff Finch arrived in court followed by his family. The man has been disabled for nearly two years. In September 2007, he armed himself with guns and led officers on a high speed chase. Finch shot at them. Officers fired back. Finch says, "I'm already a prisoner in this body. How many people you know have been shot seven times and survived?"

Finch's attorney claims the man suffers post traumatic stress disorder from his Vietnam War experience. The two doctors who reviewed the man agreed. Psychiatrist Luis Velosa wrote: "On the basis of the psychiatric examination, I find that the defendant at the time of the alleged offense ... was incapable of knowing or understanding the nature and quality of his act and he was totally unable to distinguish right from wrong." Finch's Defense Attorney Ralph Torres wants the case to settle without finch going to prison. Torres says, "Clifford Finch and myself, we are not afraid to go to trial on this case. We will go to trial. And at the very least, he will be found, not guilty by reason of insanity."

Finch faces three charges including assault with a firearm on an officer. The prosecutor says he has not offered finch any plea deals. Finch says, "What I've gone through is probably a thousand times worse than any penalty anybody has ever received."

Finch's case returns to court in late September. He could face more than 20 years in prison if he is found guilty and sane at the time of the crime.

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