Comments: 458 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

acwx46 karma

An ethically challenging AMA.

Why did you go to a party carrying a gun?

ccolombi54 karma

I was in a dark place. I carried it everywhere. Mostly for protection from enemies I'd made due to my lifestyle and choices back then. I did not value human life, including my own.

ajrohde41 karma

How was the transition between juvenile detention and prison when you turned the legal age?

ccolombi69 karma

I was pretty nervous to say the least. They roll you up at 10pm the night of your 18th birthday and take you to the adult side at midnight

ccolombi24 karma

It was different. In juvenile it's more of anything goes. In the adult system there are rules you have to follow. There is a code among convicts. In juvenile there is none of that

e-cigs-and-whiskey23 karma


ccolombi29 karma

It is not possible. I ran into the younger brother once about a year after coming home. He assaulted me. The victim's mother quit a support group she was involved in after one of the members went to visit her son's killer in prison.

adub88720 karma

Do you feel prisons do enough to tranistion longer term prisoners back into the world? Do you feel that a better transition program would lower repeat offenders?

ccolombi30 karma

They absolutely do not. I am in the minority. I have been home over 3 years now and without the support I got from family and friends I don't know if I would've made it this far. I was totally unprepared, but figured it out. People who don't have that support system are likely to go back. Real job skills are needed for these guys.

distiya20 karma

How do you feel now about the crime you committed?

ccolombi32 karma

It shouldn't have happened. Period. I made some bad choices when I was younger and had to pay the price.

C4_Lasty18 karma

What was the most horrific thing you witnessed while incarcerated?

ccolombi53 karma

I saw a child molester get beat to death

Wrestlingisgood12 karma

Do you feel that is just deserts for the crime?

ccolombi34 karma

It was brutal to watch. But it's hard to feel sorry for someone like that

guy-le-doosh4 karma

Was there any form of punishment for the guy who did the beating, or was it unofficially allowed to happen by the guards?

ccolombi7 karma

I do not know. But no, they would investigate and charge people if they knew who did it

Oneinchwalrus-1 karma

It's equally as hard to feel sorry for someone who murdered someone.

ccolombi71 karma

I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me

acwx17 karma

Do you still think about the person you killed?

ccolombi17 karma

Not much. It was a long time ago and I focus on the present.

hgeyer9916 karma

I am really conflicted on this, I know everyone is a person who can change, but you took someones life. How did you deal with that when you first went to prison, and how did you learn to forgive yourself, if you have? Do you have any plans to give back to society now that you are out? (charity work, volunteer, etc?) Thanks in advance for any answer if you do give one.

ccolombi27 karma

That's true, and some people will never forgive me. I just try to be a better person every day

haiku_22 karma

You've said this a few times about "being a better person", so my question to you is how? What are you doing to be a better person, and what do you think it means to be a better person?

Here is where I'm coming from on this question - someone in my immediate family was murdered (in phoenix actually, not too long before your own incident). In this case, the defendant was convicted on murder 1 and is sitting on death row in florence. I actually don't agree with the death penalty, but I definitely don't want him ever released so in that regard, I think the system worked.

In your case, you plead down and now you're out and you want to be a better person. You served your time, and I agree with that but you still broke one of society's most sacred codes and it's something that I feel you should always be making up for. I think "being a better person" should really mean something other than a bullshit generic platitude that you've made it sound like so far in your AMA.

So that's my question - what is being a better person? You've been given a tremendous gift by not spending your natural life in prison but you owe society something back, and something that is meaningful. Have you considered doing any kind of victim outreach work (not with your victims, since they hate you, but others)? Are you doing any kind of work to reach kids that are the same phony-phoenix-gangster that you once were? Sorry for the length, and I appreciate your AMA and hope you don't think I am being hostile, but I think it is a good question.

ccolombi29 karma

Sorry but all I have is the bullshit generic platitude. I don't have a list of good things to do. It's a fair question, but I don't have an answer.

haiku_13 karma

Well honest answers are a good start, so thanks for that. Good luck to you, I hope you'll be able to find a deeper purpose for the gift you've been given and I also hope that the victims family can find a way to forgive you (or move on) because you appear to have sincerely grown from what happened and want to do better in society.

ccolombi12 karma

Thank you. And just because I don't, doesn't mean I wouldn't. If talking to someone about what I did can make a difference for them I would

acwx16 karma

How would you best explain your actions? Do you excuse them, or admit some / all liability?

ccolombi31 karma

I am responsible for what I did. But so is Ryan.

cicadaenthusiat22 karma

Interesting to see the downvotes here. He answered the question honestly. He was asked if he accepted some/all liability. Seems like he accepts most of it, but lets not forget he was assaulted. If he wasn't assaulted, as far as we know he wouldn't have shot Ryan. Simple logic has to put some liability on the other party in that situation.

ccolombi14 karma

Yes, that is why I did time for manslaughter, not murder. I wasn't even charged with 1st degree, because they knew there was no premeditation

jungleb0i14 karma

Do you think Ryan's punishment was appropriate given his actions though?

ccolombi2 karma


drsheep113 karma

This is gonna be buried under dozens of comments because I'm pretty late, but for fucks sake you guys are such rude ingrates. This man is here with humility to share his experiences. You could all do well to be a little bit more respectful. I've found his responses to be very humbling, and that he seems to be a better person.

And uhh, how is your day?

ccolombi3 karma

Pretty good, thank you

ccolombi12 karma

Why do people delete comments?

Gallyt12 karma

Why did you decide to do this AmA ?

ccolombi32 karma

I wanted to see what questions people would ask

Dave4111 karma

Is there a story here? I see people talking like they know what happened, but I do not see where it is explained.

ccolombi2 karma

There is a link to an article somewhere in the comments. There is actually a better news article written, but it is not online

frimframsc210 karma

What kind of road blocks have you ran into when trying to find a job? Have you been able to find employment?

ccolombi16 karma

A lot of places won't hire you as soon as they find out. They have no choice. It was difficult. I worked harder for less but it's worth it

ClearlyNotAHuman10 karma

hi, thanks for doing this, i have 2 questions for you :)

what was the first thing you did when you got out?

what was the first meal you had after getting out?

ccolombi10 karma

I went to the house I grew up in, where my parents still live and just enjoyed the day. A few friends came over and we talked. Ate a steak and drank a Sam Adams!

ClearlyNotAHuman5 karma

how was the food in prison?

ccolombi11 karma


acwx9 karma

Did you consider suicide in the brief moments after the shooting? I imagine many people panic in such situations - can you describe the feeling as you drove away from the crime scene?

ccolombi14 karma

No. Which is strange because I had suicidal thoughts in general. Driving away was all instinct. I was just trying to get away

-RedditGuy9 karma

Did you feel scared when leaving prison, did prison almost feel like home because you lived there for so much of your life?

What was the biggest shock for you when you left prison?

Was there anything you expected in the free world that wasn't there?

ccolombi10 karma

Those guys are institutionalized. I didn't become like that. I took everything in and none of it shocked me.

Anablue8 karma

Did you ever experience claustrophobia the first time you stepped foot in the cell and they locked the door ?

ccolombi7 karma

No. I'm not claustrophobic

FittyShucker8 karma

Do you feel that you're mentally able to go back into real life? What new devices and technologies scared the shit out of you?

ccolombi14 karma

I am. I figured it out. I work with technology so I try to learn about everything new

hazenjaqdx38 karma

Why were you up with that "gangster style " stuff anyway?

ccolombi22 karma

I think kids who don't like themselves try to feel better by assuming a different identity. Some kids dye their hair black and pierce everything, others pretend they grew up in the same hood as 2pac

hazenjaqdx38 karma

Did you understood in prison that this isnt really good what you did ? Do you still have problems with that?

ccolombi8 karma

Well yeah, all I had to do was look around to see exactly what it gets you. I don't have problems with it now. I make smarter decisions

Wtayjay8 karma

What sort of things did you do for entertainment?

ccolombi21 karma

Anything allowed. Read. Workout. TV. Cards.

Wtayjay10 karma

What did you like to read?

ccolombi12 karma

In the beginning I read a lot of nonfiction. Towards the end I read anything to keep my mind from daydreaming

Wtayjay10 karma

Do you feel a special connection with any authors because of it?

ccolombi31 karma


friendlylog8 karma

Which book in particular?

ccolombi22 karma

Notes from the Underground

Gallyt8 karma

What were you thinking when you went to the party? Did you have a plan?

ccolombi12 karma

We were just looking for a place to party. I did not think we'd have any problems there. And we didn't for several hours

Gallyt7 karma

Ever thought of a prison break? If yes, is it like an idle daydream or do you look for opportunities to break out?

ccolombi20 karma

Never. I was bitter but I accepted my punishment

wavedelsh7 karma

Late to the party, but I am a young blonde guy, and while I do go to the gym etc. it would not be that hard to beat me up or many other things.

Would there actually be large threats to me in prison like there stereotypically are?

Thank you for the AMA btw, I find this pretty interesting.

ccolombi12 karma

It's more about personality. If you have a strong personality you can avoid being taken advantage of. The willingness to fight is more important than the ability to fight. However, if someone has made up their mind to rape you, then the ability to fight is more important!

wavedelsh12 karma

I will keep this in mind if I ever decide to break the law in a major way. Thanks for your reply! I don't understand why a bunch of the other commenters here have decided to take some moral high ground and shame you.

ccolombi19 karma

No prob. It doesn't matter, I put myself out there

JunionBaker2 karma

Did anyone try to rape you?

ccolombi3 karma

No, that doesn't happen in Arizona prisons very much

noellethefirst7 karma

What was the hardest thing about being on trial?

ccolombi9 karma

I signed a plea

Gallyt5 karma

Why was this the hardest ?

ccolombi35 karma

I meant, I avoided a trial by pleading guilty

shouldbeworking233 karma

do you think you could've received a lower amount of time if you would have gone to trial?

ccolombi8 karma

Maybe. We'll never know

Gallyt7 karma

How have you changed as a person from age 16 to age 32?

ccolombi20 karma

I've grown up. I was a teenager that made poor decisions. Now I am an adult with responsibilities and am accountable for everything I do. Most importantly, I recognize what an idiot I was and now I think about how every decision affects peoples lives

MisterNatural775 karma

Speaking in generalities, if you would like, what is the thing about sex in prison? Is it something that happens but isn't discussed? Is it accepted as part of what goes on? Do people pair up? Does sexual assault occur?

ccolombi11 karma

Every state and facility are different. I can only speak for where I was. The only stuff I saw going on was consensual, and that was rare. It is looked upon as weak

ExMayo5 karma

How do you feel about prison reform?

What changes do you see as the most urgent to help fix some of the systemic problems?

ccolombi23 karma

They put anyone in prison now. They are crowded with people that don't belong there and that leads to overpopulation and budget cuts. Less prisoners = more money to spend on rehabilitating the people that need it. The fact is most prisoners are not lifers. It makes sense to try to make them better human beings and give them options when they get out. Victims don't like hearing this, and they vote. But that leads to new victims that possibly could've been avoided

ChurchOfTurbomancy5 karma

What do you think members of society take for granted?

ccolombi11 karma

That it can all be taken away with a couple of mistakes

Uthrar5 karma

Is it true that "trouble finds you in prison", and that it is hard to do your time without getting into more trouble?

ccolombi9 karma

Somewhat. I would say 90% of assault victims had it coming. Drugs, gambling, politics, etc

technoguyx3 karma


ccolombi2 karma

Prison politics. Drama basically

tehspamninja4 karma

Any advice to someone about to do at minimum a few years fed time?

ccolombi12 karma

Get a copy of the rules for personal property and have it ready to go as soon as you get there. Have a goal. Try to accomplish something before you get out. I know guys that got their Masters degrees inside. You have to have money for that, but it can be done. Mind your own business. Don't ask questions

notworthitatall4 karma


ccolombi8 karma

No way, no internet. I would day dream about how things could've been different and I don't think that is healthy. Much better to move forward and work towards what you want than day dream about it

Wild_BillKelso4 karma

Do you feel like the criminal justice system you went through is doing its best to rehabilitate inmates for post-prison life?

ccolombi8 karma

No. They don't offer anything. It's all about punishment. I am the exception not the rule. Most people end up going back

shinerai4 karma

After you shot Ryan, did you immediately know he was dead?

Did you get that feeling of instant dread, the sinking pit in your stomach that makes you know you fucked up and are in deep trouble?

What made you decide not to go on the run and become a fugitive?

ccolombi12 karma

I did not know until later that night. That's when the sinking pit came, and the decision to turn myself in. I knew I wouldn't make it long on the run

two_off3 karma

Who'd you share a cell with?

Did you get regular visitors in prison?

What's the biggest change/shock you've had since getting out?

ccolombi31 karma

Many, many people. I had visits every month from friends and family. Sign spinners. When the fuck did businesses come up with that?!

Digimon_Shiny3 karma

You said somewhere in this thread that you work with technology. After being released from prison, what new technology blew your mind the most?

ccolombi15 karma

It all blows me away. The fact that I can sit here and chat with people, potentially all around the world, wirelessly via invisible signals in the air is fucking mind blowing!

Chipwich3 karma

Hey mate. What does an average day in prison consist of? Thanks

ccolombi3 karma

Read. Workout. Play cards. Watch TV. Repeat

dasautomobil3 karma

How hard was it to find work again? Did you feel lost or free when you got released? Excuse my ignorance for the next question, I am not aware of the American justice system. How did people doing life carry themselves, did they have a "I dont give a fuck anymore and prison guards should be afraid of me because I have nothing to lose" attitude? Were there racial tensions? What was the prisoner hierarchy like? Were the guards abusive?

ccolombi9 karma

Okay, lots of questions here. 1. It was extremely difficult. You really have to convince people to take a chance on you. 2. I felt great. I was ready to start over. 3. Most of the lifers I knew were the best friends to have. They accepted that this was their life and wanted to be as stress free as possible. It's the young guy doing 2 years that you have to be weary of, he 'doesn't get it' yet. And he has so little time, that adding an extra few years on isn't a big deal. Lifers just don't want you to take their good paint brushes that you can't get anymore! 4. Racial tensions are present 24/7. 5. It's case by case, most just want to do their job

nojihad3 karma

What are your future plans?

ccolombi27 karma

To keep working at becoming a better human

UrBallsAreShowing3 karma

What kind of birds don't fly?

ccolombi10 karma


burdalane3 karma

Do you stay in touch with anyone you met in prison? What became of the kids who were involved in the stabbing?

ccolombi5 karma

I do, but very carefully. Even though I made some good friends over the years, I have to remember that like 8 out of 10 go back. I don't want to be around when they do. I'm not really sure about 2nd question

squeezeonein3 karma

do you think you are cursed to lose so many of the best years of your life and do you work and if so at what and does it provide enough to pay for room and board?

ccolombi18 karma

Absolutely not. I made the choices that resulted in my incarceration. So I have no one to blame but myself. I lost a lot, but am in a good place now. In fact, I couldn't even take it back because if things hadn't happened the way they did, I wouldn't have my daughter today.

kinetogen3 karma

What do you want to do with the next 10 years of your life?

ccolombi5 karma

Work. Catch up. Enjoy life

Sibanc3 karma

Wow..A lot of negative responses, especially from people that never knew you as a kid. Pretty stupid to hate on someone that grew up after what he did.

But, I have a few questions;

Do you play any video games now that you're out of prison?

Did you ever hear about the stabbings of the other boys while you were in prison? If so, how long did it take for you to be informed?

What did you want to be in life, before all this happened?

ccolombi6 karma

I'm not much into video games.

Yes I heard right away. My lawyer wanted to use the case to establish a pattern of behavior with those guys. Then like 10 years later I met one of the guys convicted in the stabbing.

I don't remember.

Sibanc3 karma

A few more, because this AMA is really interesting

Did you study anything while in prison?

Did you get any tattoos?

Did you ever meditate to clear your thoughts?

How did your family take it when you came back? Did they greet you with open arms? (I imagine they did from previous questions)

Did you ever get your GED or anything highschool related while locked up?

ccolombi6 karma

Thanks. I took every class available and some correspondence courses. I got one tattoo, which was dogshit, so I never got any more inside. And has since been covered up. My family stayed by my side the entire time. If I went back, probably not the same story! I did get my GED and followed up with college after coming home

Henoros3 karma

Was there any one thing that really helped you get through being in prison and/or rebuild your life once you got out?

ccolombi4 karma

I just kept pushing and got through one day at a time. Get through this one and worry about the next when it comes

sweetpea1223 karma

What's your dream job, now?

Also the man you saw get beaten to death, was it multiple people or just one?

ccolombi3 karma

I don't know. I enjoy my job, but I'm not passionate about it. I feel like I'm a balanced person and that makes me unable to focus on one thing too much. As for the 2nd question, multiple

diegojones42 karma

How's your daughter doing and are you back with the mother?

ccolombi7 karma

Top of her class. No, but we remain friends

diegojones43 karma

Excellent. I wish you well on your new journey. Thanks for being so honest about all this. We've all fucked up. Your fuckup was as big as you can make. Good luck in your life and I wish you and your daughter the best

ccolombi4 karma

Thank you. I really appreciate that

RacksDiciprine2 karma

What was the prison economy like? Drugs, Cigarettes, alcohol, porn, sex. How did they smuggle stuff in. Maybe a story about it

ccolombi9 karma

You can get anything you want in there if you have the money. They smuggled it in any way they could

dc_joey2 karma

What were the hardest adjustments for you to make when first coming out of prison?

ccolombi14 karma

Doing things for myself. In prison everyday is planned out, every meal prepared for you

tokenspls2 karma

Did cellphones blow your mind when you were released?

ccolombi33 karma

I needed someone to turn it on for me :-)

JGoodwillieV2 karma

I notice you are a crossfitter. Do guys do workouts like that in prison or is it mainly all free weight stuff?

ccolombi10 karma

No weights in Arizona. It's all body weight, plyometrics, and calisthenics

Therenar2 karma

Do you think prison made you think about what you have done and rehabilitated you? Or did it just make things worse by discriminating you as "ex con"?

ccolombi6 karma

Of course I thought about what I'd done. I feel like I rehabilitated myself. The discrimination you get in the job market is justified, but to a point. There has to be a line where employers can decide to give someone a second chance. Many applicants can't even get in the door because of blankets policies

fVANILLA2 karma

If you could go back and give your teenage-self a single piece of advice, what would it be?

ccolombi12 karma

Life is short, don't waste time with people that aren't going anywhere in life

shouldbeworking232 karma

Do you think you should've been in prison longer?

ccolombi11 karma

Um, no

Ruffbeggar2 karma

Who was the most interesting person you met during your incarceration?

ccolombi5 karma

Johnathan Doody

bairet3 karma

Did he continue to swear his innocence in all the times that you spoke?

ccolombi3 karma


Gratificnation2 karma

Why did you pour all the salt out of the shakers at burger king?

ccolombi7 karma

I don't know why they wrote that, it did not happen

ProbabIy__drunk2 karma

Why didn't you fight like a man instead of pulling a weapon?

ccolombi16 karma

I honestly don't know. Lots of critics called my crime cowardly. But I was not scared of this guy. I got into fights a lot. I was not scared to get beat up. It was a split second decision with no time to think, and that's just how I reacted to it. I owned the gun for protection against other people with guns. I was not around those types that night and I reacted poorly

RebeccaETripp2 karma

How often did innocent people get put in prison, and how often did the prison make them worse people?

ccolombi2 karma

I have no way of knowing that. More often than not it wasn't that someone was 'innocent' it was that they got fucked by the justice system. For example, if you believe his story, I met a guy doing life for a homicide that was completely negligent.

khinzeer2 karma

I'm assuming you are a whiteboy (forgive me if this is wrong). From what the article says it seems you were repping the bloods when you killed the kid.

Who did you bang with/run with inside?

ccolombi2 karma

I was independent. Running with a gang, wannabe or not, was no longer something I wanted to be a part of

RebeccaETripp2 karma

Sorry, one more question. Did you listen to any music? If so, how often, and which songs or types of music were the most satisfying/soothing/helpful?

ccolombi2 karma

Music was a big help. They only let in cassettes though, so it was hard to find a lot of stuff. Most newer music wasn't available

Eternally652 karma

How did Ryan Winn's family react to your release?

ccolombi3 karma

They didn't. Publicly at least. I ran into his brother and didn't know who he was, he clocked me from behind and ran off. Haven't seen him again

PsychoticLime2 karma

How did you get on with the other convicts?

ccolombi2 karma

I chose friends carefully

Wrestlingisgood2 karma

Any advice for making friends in prison?

ccolombi7 karma

Yes. Be careful. People are much different when sober. Lots of guys have drug problems. If you meet them when sober just realize that if they go back to drugs they will not be the person you know

Friendofabook2 karma

I'm extremely late to the party but I hope you'll see this. Thanks for doing the AMA btw.

Two questions:

  1. What changed the most from when you went in to when you came out? Technology wise for instance. Did you keep up with the outside world or was it basically like sleeping for all those years?

  2. This question sounds a bit odd but I'd love an honest answer, do you believe I should be more afraid of meeting you in the outside world than some other stranger or do you feel fully rehabilitated and no longer a threat at all?

ccolombi2 karma

It was from 1996 to 2011. Obviously there was no Reddit or anything like this. I read technology magazines cover to cover even if I didn't know what they were talking about. Most people I meet that find out about my past can't believe it. They don't think I could do something like that and they also can't believe I spent 15 years in there.

GreatWallofMinge2 karma

If you kept yourself to yourself in prison, and never did anything to annoy anyone would you still be raped and abused?

ccolombi2 karma

As I said in other comments, every state and institution is different. Raped, probably not. Abused? Maybe. You have to stand up for yourself if you think someone is trying to take advantage of you in any way. The willingness to fight is more important than the ability to fight

Uthrar1 karma

Do you feel like time went by more slowly inside the prison? I mean, since there's not a lot to do.

ccolombi1 karma

Yes. After 1 year of being home I thought, "I wish the past 15 years had gone by this fast!"

EarlCouche1 karma

What your opinion on the prisons ability to actually rehabilitate a person? Do you think they should use different methods?

ccolombi3 karma

They could do it if they wanted to. It would take an attitude shift is all

VinceNate1 karma

What was the worst thing about prison?

ccolombi7 karma


jibasaur1 karma

Do you still keep in contact with people you met while in prison?

ccolombi1 karma

I've answered this already. Some, but you have to be careful. You can get caught up with the wrong people pretty easy

hyperintelligentcat1 karma

What is your opinion of the prison current system? Do you believe it works? How would you improve it?

ccolombi5 karma

It works in the sense that it punishes. That is what they want