Who is Columbus Allen Jr. II?
Most people know the 34-year-old Stockton man by his jail mug shot or the headlines he made mouthing off to a judge, complaining about jail conditions and trying to fire his attorneys.
But the man who sat emotionless while reading a statement Monday morning admitting to shooting and killing California Highway Patrol officer Earl Scott continues to confound.
Some still remember Allen from his teenage years as a hard-working and likable wrestling standout at Ceres and Stockton schools who came from a rough background. Born Dec. 29, 1975, in San Leandro, he was the kid who would blast his radio and later go over to the next-door neighbor to apologize for the noise.
But as an adult, Allen's criminal record stretches to the mid-'90s in Alameda, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
From jail, he has said his mother was addicted to crack cocaine. He never mentioned having a father around.
Allen said the family fallout continued when he was sent to a group home at age 11, after his older brother impregnated his uncle's wife. He lived in group homes in Richmond, Fremont and Ceres.
Allen's own attempt at creating a decent family life seemed more successful at first. He married his wife, Bertera, in 1999 and they had two sons, who were 9 and 4 at the time of his arrest. Calls to Bertera Allen's home were not returned.
Construction work, rap
He worked doing home reconstruction and had befriended Christopher Hicks, a Stockton music producer. Hicks had said he saw in Allen a talent for making rap music.
Now, in the aftermath of his arrest and guilty plea, Allen's wife has filed for divorce. She was expected to be one of the prosecution's star witnesses.
During a phone interview in March 2006 a month after his arrest, Allen was defiant, saying: "Honestly, I know I'm not going to be found guilty. The Lord knows I'm not guilty. I just have to have patience. I'm trying to get it in my mind that it's going to take years."
On Monday morning, he pleaded guilty, saying simply, "I shot officer Scott with the intent to kill."