They say a picture is worth a thousand words but in this modern age, this seems like somewhat of a superfluous notion. This might be because of technology. Everyone has a camera on them all the time and we are able to constantly snap and post pictures of just about anything. But does their abundance mean that pictures don’t say nearly as much as they once did?
Some would say, yes. Think about it… what does a picture of your lunch say? What words are conveyed by your sixtieth selfie post to Instagram in the past week? Yet, as widespread and sometimes annoying as selfies can be, one man learned that a simple selfie would ultimately save his life…
22-year-old Christopher Precopia was working at the lumberyard, hauling and cutting wood, just as he always did. The yard, located in Georgetown, Texas, was the same place that Chris worked every day. The only people that ever came into the yard were those who worked there, except for that day. On that day, the police showed up.
Don’t Act Surprised
The officer approached the foreman, who pointed out Chris. The police then informed him rather roughly that he was under arrest. When the bewildered 22-year-old asked them what they were arresting him for, they replied with a smarmy “don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about.” The thing was, he really didn’t know what they were talking about.
It wasn’t until they hauled him into the police station and into the interrogation chamber that Chris learned the truth. He had been accused of burglary, but that was not all. He allegedly also had the intent to commit other, more serious crimes as well, according to them anyway. He had no idea what they were talking about or why it was happening to him.
Hauled In, Let Out
After that, the officers hauled Chris off to Williamstown County Jail. He was arraigned and given a bail of $150,000. Knowing that he was innocent, his family posted the $150,000 and he was released. Unfortunately for him, he still didn’t know exactly who he had burglarized or what else they believed he had planned to do.
From there, Chris went home to think about the potentially disastrous fate that awaited him. By this point, he had been officially charged with first-degree felony burglary of a habitation, with intent to commit additional felonies. If he was convicted, the 22-year-old could end up serving up to 99 years in prison.
Despite having a pretty solid alibi, the authorities had no problem charging him. As it happened, they’d actually charged him before they’d even taken him to the station. This was particularly odd considering police usually interview suspects before charging them. Nevertheless, the severity of his alleged crimes evidently gave them a reason to ignore protocol.
His parents, having posted a pretty significant amount for his bond, were now on a mission to prove their son’s innocence. In the course of their own investigation, they learned that Chris’ accuser was someone he had known personally. The accusations came from his ex-girlfriend, someone he hadn’t seen since he graduated high school.
Yes, Chris’ accuser was a girl he hadn’t seen or spoken to in more than four years. She was one of his ex-girlfriends, a woman he hadn’t dated since high school. And though police hadn’t known it at the time, she had fabricated the whole crime just to get him into trouble. Though he couldn’t have told you why.
Racking his Brain
Chris racked his brain over the next few days, trying to figure out when he’d last spoke to the woman, much less seen her. Regardless of what he and his parents knew, however, the girl’s story was shocking enough that if he couldn’t prove his alibi, the court would most certainly throw the book at him.
Chris’ accuser said that he broke into her home in Temple and began an altercation. The two began to fight, vases were smashed, items were taken, and eventually, she fell to his strength. When she was prone, Chris allegedly pulled out a box cutter and sliced an X into her chest as a memento. The angry, red wound and her own tears had been enough to convince the police.
Of course, the whole altercation had merely been staged to look like a violent confrontation. She had broken her own vase, thrown items around her home, and knocked over furniture so it looked like a struggle. As to why she had done this thing, that mystery still remained to be solved. In the meantime, Chris had to clear his name.
Luckily for the harried lumberyard worker, he had been more than 65 miles away from Temple when the alleged attack occurred. He and his mom Erin had been staying at the Austin hotel that night and they’d even taken a picture of the impromptu getaway as well. As long as he had that selfie, his innocence was assured.
Chris’ alibi evidence included a few time-stamped, geolocated photos of his night in Austin. This, along with the sworn affidavits of the people he had been with on that night, was more than enough to exonerate him. Erin Precopia knew where her son was and so did several others, it was a rock-solid alibi.
Eventually, the time came for Rick Flores, Chris’ lawyer, to address the charges. He brought forward a motion to dismiss. “He was very fortunate that she chose a date and time that he just happened to have a rock-solid alibi for,” Flores told the Sun. “He and I have talked many times about how lucky he is, whether you believe in a higher power or good old-fashioned luck.”
Nine Months Later
In the end, Flores had been right about Chris’ luck. Nine months after the arrest, the police dropped the charges against him. The selfie had been more than enough to secure his alibi. But Bell County prosecutors still had a problem on their hands. Someone had lied to the police and disrupted a young man’s life. So what was her fate in all this?
No Charges for Her
Firstly, it must be understood that Chris’ accuser’s identity was not immediately made public. This is due to the fact that despite her lies, she is not being charged with any crime. Though she eventually admitted that her rocky relationship with Chris was what caused her to make up such a vindictive lie. The Bell County prosecutors seemed to be at a loss when it came to taking action against her.
After Flores presented the evidence and the charges were dropped, the district attorney admitted their mistake … sort of. Rather, they admitted how difficult situations like this are to properly prosecute. “We are always willing to listen and examine new information, and that’s exactly what we did in this case,” explained Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza.
No Black or White
Garza went on to discuss how most of the time, the courts deal in grey matters. Nothing is ever truly black or white, but they had to err on the side of caution if Chris Precopia was truly a dangerous criminal out on the loose. It was prudent thinking. It was just handled poorly by everyone involved.
Not the Same
Regardless of their “good intentions,” Chris’ suffering at the hands of the courts has had something of a negative effect on his personality. Even his mother admits that his change in demeanor has broken her heart. Chris is just not the same young man he was a year and a half ago.
Ignoring the Liars
Nevertheless, Chris Precopia is ready to move on with his life. “I’m ready to actually live my life, the way I want to, without having any kind of worry that this can come back and hurt me,” he told KVUE. Here’s hoping both he and the ex-girlfriend stay well clear of one another in the future.
Wrongly-Accused Man Saved By Seemingly Innocuous Selfie is an article from: LifeDaily