Rap producer Christopher Hicks was arrested Friday (Feb. 17) in connection to the murder of a California highway patrol officer.
Sacramento’s Modesto Bee reported that Hicks unwittingly became linked to the murder suspect, 30-year-old Columbus Junior Allen II.
Hicks, a veteran producer who has worked on movie soundtracks, is best known for his collaborations with rappers Dru Down and Da Luniz for their classic hit, “I Got 5 On It.”
Authorities believe Allen shot Earl Scott, a 36-year-old CHP officer.
As of Sunday (Feb. 19), the investigation was still pending, said Sgt. Mike Parker, a spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the Bee, while on his way to Oakland International Airport Friday morning, Hicks dropped Allen off at a gas station, hours after Scott was found dead on Highway 99.
It was there that police arrested Hicks on unrelated misdemeanor drug and weapons charges.
He was released Saturday (Feb. 18) night after posting nearly $57,000 bail.
Although officials described Hicks as a “material witness,” not a suspect, Hicks told the paper that the distinction might mislead some people.
“A lot of people know me and know my name, and this is a definite infliction on my character,” said Hicks, who was arrested while waiting to fly to Houston for the NBA All-Star Game. “I’m being treated like some sort of cop killer when I didn’t know anything about it.”
Despite admitting to seeing Allen on occasion, Hicks thought Allen had potential as a rapper for his label, C-Note Records.
“The guy had talent, so I wasn’t going to turn my back,” said Hicks.
Although he doesn’t know exactly why Allen came to him, Hicks believes the circumstances–being at the airport and making contact with Allen that morning–paint a picture of him being more involved than he was.
“It made it seem like I was his accomplice and I was trying to flee or get out of town,” Hicks told the paper. “I was just part of this crazy situation I didn’t know anything about.”
The murder of a peace officer is one of 22 special circumstances in which prosecutors can seek a death sentence, The Bee reported.
Allen is being held without bail in Stanislaus County Jail and will likely be arraigned on first-degree murder charges Tuesday (Feb. 21) or Wednesday (Feb. 22).