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Car jacking suspect has a history of drug abuse and car theft

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 21:48:18-04

PUEBLO – The man jailed for dragging another man to death during a botched car jacking in Pueblo last week has a history of drug abuse and stealing cars. Anthony Finley, 20, is now being held without bond in the Pueblo jail.

The murder happened just 18 days after Finley was released from custody on probation from an earlier car jacking conviction. Finley was scheduled to appear before a judge Monday afternoon, but his lawyer waived that advisement hearing and rescheduled for a later date.

Court records indicate that police detectives and Finley’s own relatives encouraged him to turn himself in before he was arrested at the north side Walmart Friday night.

Garcia, the victim, lived just a few houses away from the apartments on East 5th Street where Finley occasionally stayed with his grandfather James Griffin.

Detectives interviewed Griffin on Wednesday and he said that Finley had been with him Monday morning and became agitated because someone he’d asked for a ride hadn’t show up. He said his grandson was wearing a black had with a red brim when he arrived that morning, and that he left wearing a yellow/green traffic safety vest. He also heard a commotion outside after Finley left but couldn’t say if he heard his grandson’s voice because his home health care nurse had just arrived.

On Thursday, Griffin agreed to let detectives download a Facebook messenger conversation between himself and Finley from Monday evening. That conversation is as follows:

James: “Hi Tonio. When you came over this morning was you wearing a black baseball hat with a red roster on the front of it”
Anthony: “No”
James: “Ok plus did you carjacked a jeep yesterday morning”
Anthony: “Hell no??? Y”
Anthony: “Y Do u aso”
Anthony: “Ask”
James: “Because there was a carjacking you was described. I’m so sorry I thought it was u”
Anthony: “What did you say or do?????”
James: “Well I told your mom and auntie Audrey about the carjacking and person was dressed like you”
Anthony: “Don’t tell ppl stuff you don’t know about grandpa”
James: “Yes your right. I’m sorry I will talk to your mom and Auntie Audrey that I made a terrible mistake”
Anthony: “Plz do tat asap dud u tell anyone else”
“Plz let me know if you did”
James: “I just told you mom and Auntie Audrey nobody else know about it”
Anthony: “Ok I wouldn’t do that especially in broad day”
James: “I wouldn’t do it either makes no sense”
“Good night and sweet dreams”
Anthony: “Ok well I love you and I’m a send my lady friend over maybe to grab my jeans I left tyere”

Finley’s father Bob Finley agreed to meet with detectives at the Pueblo Police Station Thursday evening. He told investigators that his son has a serious drug problem and a history of stealing cars. He also said that hewas upset that his son was released from jail after his last carjacking incident in February. He asked the detectives to call him if they get an arrest warrant for his son so that he could try to talk him into turning himself in.

The younger Finley pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of motor vehicle theft on May 16. He was sentenced to 79 days in jail and 3 years supervised probation with mandatory drug testing. Finley received credit for time served and was released that day. He was arrested in that case on February 27 and charged with six felonies and two traffic violations. Court records state that Finley fled a traffic stop in a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee and crashed into another vehicle near 4th and Glendale.

He fled the scene on foot and was captured by the pursuing officer who found also two small plastic baggies with heroin and crystal meth in them. Finley was also carrying two stolen drivers licenses and two stolen credit cards. The victims of the stolen credit cards and driver’s licenses had all reported having their cars stolen.

Court records also show that another warrant was issued for Finley’s arrest six days earlier on February 21 for motor vehicle theft. His arrest date on that case is listed as April 8.

Pueblo District Attorney Jeff Chostner told News 5 those charges were dropped as part of the plea deal in the February 27 case.

Finley was detained by officers overnight from Wednesday into Thursday when it was reported he was jumping on roofs in the 1200 block of Pine Street. Detective Ryan Torres spoke with Finley after the incident. Finley told Torres that was trying to find work and to stay out of trouble but that he is not working right now because of drugs.

Torres told Finley he wanted to talk with him about an accident that occurred and asked if he knew what he was talking about. Finley answered no.

“Detective Torres told Anthony that there are some people who care about him,” Detective Carly Gustin wrote in the affidavit of probable cause for an arrest warrant. “Detective Torres told him that he doesn’t really know him, but that his name has come up a lot in this investigation.”

Torres then told Finley that he seem like he wants to do the right thing and that would be to own up to his actions.

“I’m not some dumb kid bro, I’m not gonna say something stupid,” Finley said. “I didn’t do anything. I’m gonna make the right decision and I’m going to do the right thing. Don’t sweat it. Maybe not right now, but I’m gonna do the right thing.”

Finley then said he wanted to talk to his lawyer and that he had some loose ends he needed to tie up.

At 3:49 a.m. Friday, Detective Glenn Fillmore said he received a call from Finley’s father Bob who relayed that he had just picked up his son and they were at the 7-11 on East 4th Street. Bob asked if the police had an arrest warrant for Anthony and was told no. Bob asked Anthony if he wanted to speak with Fillmore and he said yes. Fillmore said he could hear Anthony getting emotional and begin crying during the conversation. Fillmore told him the best thing he could do for himself is to turn himself in.
Anthony told him he would do the right thing, but he had to tie up some loose ends first.

Finley was arrested at 10:00 p.m. Friday. His next scheduled court appearance is Monday June 17 at 9:30 a.m.