A man facing 99 years in prison for a violent crime he didn’t commit was cleared of any wrongdoing, thanks to a Facebook selfie taken by his mom.
On Sept. 22, 2017, Cedar Park, Texas, resident Christopher “CJ” Precopia, 21, was working at a lumberyard when the police came to arrest him. CJ’s crime: Breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s home two days prior and attacking her with a box cutter, carving an “X” onto her chest, according to a television station.
CJ was confused — he hadn’t spoken to his ex-girlfriend in two years, having only dated her for six weeks in high school when he was 17 and she was 15, mom Erin Precopia told ABC News. Their breakup was admittedly unfriendly, but the pair remained apart, and CJ didn’t know where she lived.
CJ’s ex-girlfriend told police that after CJ broke into her home, he “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.”
CJ’s parents paid his $150,000 jail bond and over the next nine months, they waited to hear whether CJ would be found guilty of first-degree felony burglary of a habitation with intent to commit additional felonies, which carried a 99-year prison sentence if convicted. “That’s what I’m scared of most,” CJ told KVUE. “Going to prison for no reason.”
However, Erin insisted that her son couldn’t have committed this crime — because they were together on Sept. 20th, 2017, at 7:20 p.m., the time of the alleged attack. Erin had taken CJ to the Renaissance Austin Hotel for an event by the skincare line Rodan & Fields called “Men Tell All.”
“Thankfully, I do log on Facebook all the time, and I check in when I go places,” Erin said. That evening, Erin had posted a selfie of her and CJ at 7:02 p.m. at the event located an hour away from the accuser’s home. Lucky for them, social media is mostly a good thing.