A Texas woman was arrested after she allegedly outed an undercover cop on her Facebook page.
Users of social media sites like Facebook should be warned: what you tweet and post online can come back and haunt you.
Melissa Walthall may have thought she was exacting some revenge against the undercover cop who testified against her friend. Instead, the 30-year-old woman may have put the cop's life in danger.
For that, she now faces felony charges of retaliation, reports The Dallas Morning News.
In August, the undercover cop reportedly testified against Walthall's friend, George Pickens, in a drug case. Pickens was upset at the testimony and proceeded to research the undercover cop on the Internet, reports the Morning News. At some point, Pickens and his brother discovered the undercover cop on the cop's own Facebook page.
The brothers decided to use a photo of the police officer to make fliers that outed the cop as an undercover cop. Walthall allegedly took a photo of one of the fliers, and posted it on her Facebook page with the caption "Anyone know this [expletive]?" reports the Morning News.
A caller tipped off the local police after seeing the picture on Walthall's Facebook page.
For the felony retaliation charge, Melissa Walthall could now face up to ten years in jail. While the crime may seem minor -- posting a picture on Facebook -- the crime had the potential to place the undercover cop in harm's way.
Generally, retaliation in Texas means that a person intentionally or knowingly harms or threatens to harm another due to the victim's service as a public servant (e.g. a police officer). With the help of a good criminal defense attorney, Walthall's best defense may be to plead ignorance and argue that the woman had no idea that the Facebook outing would actually lead to harm.
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