SAN DIEGO -- As his trial entered its eighth week, a man who shot at officers from his ex-girlfriend's condominium in Bankers Hill pleaded guilty to four counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer and agreed to a 20-year prison sentence, it was confirmed Thursday.
Titus Colbert, 36, faces formal sentencing May 18 before Judge Louis Hanoian.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon was about to wrap up his case when Colbert decided to plead guilty Monday afternoon.
Charges of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and assault with a semiautomatic weapon were dismissed.
Runyon said in his opening statement that Colbert took two rifles and a revolver belonging to his roommate in Las Vegas and showed up at his former girlfriend's condo in Bankers Hill a few days before his Nov. 4, 2015, arrest.
According to Runyon, the morning of the shooting, Colbert's ex- girlfriend Ashley Davies realized that he'd had broken into her complex and sent him a text saying: "You're trespassing! You're going to jail!"
Colbert responded by texting, "(Expletive), I'm going to be a star. (Expletive) you for putting my life in danger," the prosecutor said.
When officers responded to Davies' sixth-floor condo near the roof of the complex, a shot rang out from behind her door and an officer returned fire, according to Runyon.
The prosecutor said officers retreated and more shots were fired at them and members of a SWAT team.
Hours later, police observed a rifle, revolver and a magazine for a rifle being thrown out of the window where Colbert was holed up, Runyon said.
After Colbert's arrest, officers found 17 expended casings and another rifle under a pile of clothes in the room, the prosecutor said.
Even though traces of cocaine and methamphetamine were found in Colbert's system, and even though he had a history of mental health issues, the defendant knew what he was doing that day, Runyon said.
Defense attorney Melissa Tralla told the jury that Colbert had a psychotic break and was paranoid and delusional. She said that days before, Colbert had called Davies at least 50 times and was not acting right.
Colbert was rambling, saying he had special powers and was part of the New World Order, Tralla said.
The attorney said Colbert was showing signs of mental illness by age 6, and was diagnosed with schizophrenia by age 15. Tralla told the jury that Colbert did not intend or plan to kill officers that day.