How a mother's selfie saved son from 99-year prison sentence

Christopher Precopia with his mum Erin. Source: Facebook/ Erin Precopia

A man has managed to avoid 99 years in jail thanks to a selfie taken by his mum.

Christopher Precopia, 21, was arrested in September 2017 for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home, attacking her with a box cutter and carving an X onto her chest. 

His mum Erin told ABC News her son hadn’t spoken to his ex in two years but added their breakup was unfriendly. 

An affidavit for arrest claims Mr Precopia’s ex told police her ex-boyfriend “came towards her in an aggressive manner and pushed her to the ground, punched her in the face and cut her with a box cutter”.

The woman claimed her ex-boyfriend cut her with a box-cutter. Source: KVUE

She also accused him of cutting into her face.

Mr Precopia was charged with first-degree felony burglary of a habitation with intent to commit additional felonies which is punishable by up to 99 years’ jail. 

The ex-girlfriend claimed the attack happened on September 20, 2017 at around 7.20pm.

However, the 21-year-old couldn’t have been at his ex-girlfriend’s home and his mum had evidence.

“Thankfully, I do log on Facebook all the time, and I check in when I go places,” she told KVUE. 

It turns out Mr Precopia was with his mum at that exact time of the alleged attack. She took a selfie and checked in at the Renaissance Austin Hotel where they were attending an event for a skincare product. 

Bell County district attorney Henry Garza told Yahoo the picture’s existence wasn’t known to police at the time the case was filed. 

“It was in the possession of Mr Precopia and his attorneys,” he said in a statement.  

“It was not until counsel for Precopia presented the information to the assistant district attorney handling the case that we became aware of the information. This was some time after the charges were initially filed.”

Christopher Precopia (left) had this photo taken of him and was tagged in a location by his mum. Source: Facebook/ Erin Precopia

However, once the photo was presented, Mr Garza said authorities were able to independently confirm Mr Precopia wasn’t present at the time of the attack.

“The photo was posted to Facebook but what we examined was the actual photo that was taken and the data that was created when the photo was taken,” he said.

“When this was confirmed, we acted in dismissing the charges. I have said we are always willing to listen and examine new information, and that’s exactly what we did in this case.

“Currently, charges are under review by law enforcement concerning the individual who reported the allegations, that matter will be reviewed by the Bell County Attorney office.”  

The family paid more than A$340,000 in legal fees and Mr Precopia was denied an application with the US Army due to the charges. 

It’s not known if they are seeking legal action.

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