Columbus Allen Jr. II left his jail cell in downtown Modesto on Tuesday afternoon to begin serving the rest of his life behind bars for the murder of California Highway Patrolman Earl Scott.
About 12:30 p.m., a team of Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies drove Allen to the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, a reception center for newly-committed state prisoners from Northern California.
There, Allen will be classified and transferred to one of 33 state prisons based on such factors as his criminal record, life history, medical and physiological history, and social history, according to the DVI Web site.
Less than two hours after Allen's departure, Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies had cleaned out Allen's cell. He left behind three stacks of paperwork, much of it relating to his criminal case, but took two small bags of personal items with him, Sgt. Glenn Cadwell said.
Allen, 34, of Stockton admitted in court Monday he shot Scott during a February 2006 traffic stop near Salida to avoid arrest and possible prison time because he was a felon with a gun in his car.
Allen pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with three special circumstances in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to not seek the death penalty against him.
He gave up his right to appeal his conviction and sentence.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2337.