Former Albuquerque High student wins settlement after wrongful arrest

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – There’s a big update on a case of mistaken identity that landed an Albuquerque teen behind bars for a week, and wrongly-accused of murder. 

It happened four years ago to then 17-year-old Gisell Estrada. Albuquerque police arrested her and accused her for the murder of someone during a robbery. However, they had the wrong girl. 

The ACLU won a settlement Wednesday on her behalf against the City of Albuquerque. 

“Well, it destroyed my life, my feelings, my education. It destroyed everything, just everything,” said Gisell Estrada. “Well, I just hope no one’s family has to suffer the way my family suffered.”  

Former APD Detective Jesse Carter allegedly relied on Facebook pictures and witness descriptions to track down the real suspect – Alexis Pina. 

A lawsuit explained this led to Estrada’s wrongful arrest. 

“He misread the Facebook page. Instead of saying Albuquerque Highland High School, he thought, Albuquerque High School and reached out to a resource officer there,” said Zoila Alvarez Hernandez, a ACLU attorney. 

Estrada’s settlement with the City of Albuquerque includes a payment settlement and the city’s help in expunging her record.