Back in June 2017, it was reported that a pregnant teenager had fatally shot her boyfriend during a YouTube stunt gone wrong. Today, Monalisa Perez, now 20, has been given a six-month sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
Last year, Perez shot 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz, who she had been dating for five years, with one of the world’s most powerful pistols—a Desert Eagle .50 caliber handgun—outside of the couple’s home. The incident took place in front of 30 onlookers, including their three-year-old child.
Ruiz was holding a 1.5-inch thick hardcover encyclopedia in front of his chest to try to stop the bullet, but Perez fired the gun from around a foot away and the pojectile traveled through the book and into his body. The couple had a YouTube channel and hoped the stunt would increase its popularity. Ruiz reportedly told his aunt they wanted to perform the shooting “because we want more viewers, we want to get famous."
Perez said she was reluctant to go through with it, but her boyfriend had been shooting books and showed her one that a bullet didn’t manage to penetrate—his way of convincing her it was safe.
Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever HIS idea not MINE— Monalisa Perez (@MonalisaPerez5) June 26, 2017
Under the terms of the plea bargain, Minnesota Judge Jeffrey Remick said Perez would serve a 180-day jail term. For the first six months, this will alternate between 10 days in jail and ten days free, amounting to 90 days of incarceration. The remaining 90 days can be served in home confinement. Perez will also serve ten years of supervised probation, is banned for life from owning firearms, and can make no financial gains from the case.
The sentence was well below the maximum 10-years imprisonment the offense carries, but Norman County Attorney James Brue said: "The reality [is] that this foolish stunt was dreamed up, planned and executed by Pedro Ruiz, and the defendant wrongfully and tragically relied on his assurances that the stunt was safe."