An innocent man from Texas has been saved from serving a 99 year prison sentence after a selfie gave him a solid alibi.
21-year-old Christopher Precopia was shocked and perplexed when police officers turned up to his workplace to arrest him for burglary with the intent to commit other crimes. If found guilty, such crimes could have led to a life sentence.
Precopia had been working at a lumberyard in Georgetown when officers took him into custody, reportedly giving him little information as to what it was specifically he was being accused of.
When Precopia tried to enquire, he was simply told, ‘Don’t act like you don’t know’. Precopia became even more confused when officers informed him they had a warrant for his arrest in Bell County, a location he was reportedly unfamiliar with.
Taken to Williamstown County Jail, Precopia spent over a day in jail and was released only after his parents paid the $150,000 bond after taking out loans. They also spent thousands on providing Christopher with a lawyer.
Precopia explained to KVUE:
I had no idea who accused me of this; I had no idea why everything was happening.
I was constantly fearful as to what could happen the next day… I was going to sleep hoping I wouldn’t wake up, just to get away from it.
However, the nature of the chilling accusations eventually came to light. Precopia’s former high school girlfriend had falsely accused him of breaking into her home.
The ex-girlfriend claimed Precopia had pushed her to the ground, before punching her in the face and slicing an X shape just above her chest using a box cutter.
In a gruesome account given to police, she wrote:
I could hear the slices being made.
The identity of the ex-girlfriend is not being made public as she isn’t currently being charged with a crime.
However, Precopia was nowhere near the alleged scene of the crime on the date specified by the ex-girlfriend – Sept. 20, 2017 – and he had the selfie to prove it.
Precopia had in fact been with his mother, Erin Precopia, at an Austin hotel 65 miles away from where the accuser said he attacked her.
He had taken a selfie of himself with his family that very evening, posting it to social media. The selfie had been taken at 7.02 pm, and the accuser claimed the attack had happened at 7:20pm.
According to The Washington Post, Precopia’s defence attorney Rick Flores said:
He was very fortunate that she chose a date and time that he just happened to have a rock-solid alibi for.
He and I have talked many times about how lucky he is, whether you believe in a higher power or good old-fashioned luck.
The ex girlfriend later admitted to Temple police how she had fabricated the story because she had been in a rocky relationship with Precopia several years earlier.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.