Man charged with murder in connection with stabbing outside Mineshaft bar

A Long Beach man was charged Wednesday in connection to the slaying of 28-year-old Christopher Finley who was stabbed outside the Mineshaft bar late Friday night.

Michael Smalls, 56, faces murder and attempted murder charges in light of last week’s attack. Smalls did not appear in court for his initial arraignment Wednesday, but a judge upped his bail from $2 million to $3 million. Smalls is expected to appear in court tomorrow where he’ll be asked to enter a plea.

Police said Smalls is responsible for attacking Finley and his partner, Jake Stone, outside the Mineshaft, a well-known LGBTQ bar on Broadway. Stone said they were trying to disarm a man with a Taser outside the bar when the man police identified as Smalls rode up on a bicycle and attacked. Smalls then allegedly fled the scene on a bicycle. Authorities rushed Stone and Finley to the hospital where Finley later died.

“Chris was my other half,” Stone told the Post following the attack. “Neither of us knew life without each other. He was the love of my life, my soulmate.”

On Monday, Smalls was arrested at his Fourth Street apartment, located just a mile away from the bar.

It’s still unclear what may have prompted the alleged attack, although police said there is no evidence at this time that it was a hate crime or motivated by bias.

Police arrest man suspected of stabbing couple outside of Mineshaft bar

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Fernando Haro is the Long Beach Post's breaking news and public safety reporter.