A Texas Man’s Selfie Saves Him From a 99 Year Prison Sentence
A selfie posted to Facebook was all it took to exonerate a Texas man from a horrible charge that would have seen him spend the rest of his life in prison.
In September of 2017, Cristopher Precopia of Georgetown, TX was taken from his job at a lumberyard in handcuffs, looking at the possibility of a 99 year prison sentence. Precopia was being charged with burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit other crimes for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and carving an X into her chest two night prior. Precopia knew he was innocent, and luckily had evidence to prove it.
During the time of the assault, Precopia was with his family at a Northwest Austin hotel more than an hour away from his ex's home. A selfie taken at the hotel and posted to Facebook provided a timestamp and location that proved Precopia's innocence. After being arrested, Precopia's parents posted a $150,000 bond, but it took nine months before the charges were officially dropped.
Precopia's ex admitted that two had a bad relationship years before, and that's why she said he assaulted her. But many have questioned why Precopia was even arrested when such solid and exonerating evidence was readily available. Bruce Mills, a former Austin assistant police chief and policing consultant, told KVUE,
You may not get any more information than you had, but it gives you an opportunity for the suspect to react, respond, deny. Certainly a case where the suspect appeared to be available, it would be more step you could take.
Records show Precopia returned a call to the police department and left a message prior to his arrest, but its not clear how much investigating the department did before arresting Precopia and charging him with a felony. Experts agree that suspects should be interviewed for possible alibis before an official arrest is made.