Monalisa Perez, the 20-year-old Minnesota mother who fatally shot her boyfriend during a failed YouTube stunt, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter on Friday, according to The New York Times. In June, Perez shot at 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III, who was holding a thick book in front of his chest. They both believed the book’s thickness would protect Ruiz’s body from the bullet. Sadly, they were wrong.
According to The New York Times, Perez’s plea deal could mean that she would only serve 180 days in jail. However, a judge will determine the young mother’s sentence, the Pioneer Press reported. By pleading guilty, she avoided a potentially lengthy sentence. If convicted of second-degree manslaughter during a trial, Perez could have been slapped with a decade behind bars.
According to BuzzFeed, Perez was pregnant at the time of the prank gone wrong. The couple's 3-year-old daughter also witnessed the shooting, according to TwinCities.com. A .50-caliber Desert Eagle was used.
The couple had their own YouTube channel and were reportedly aiming to become more famous. The couple’s prank videos usually contained innocent tricks, such as Perez giving Ruiz a doughnut covered in baby powder.
Another recording features the pair pulling stunts at a fair. In that video, Perez gushes about their future in YouTube videos.
“Imagine when we have 300,000 subscribers,” she said.
Perez’s plea deal reportedly prevents her from making any money off the footage of the fatal shooting.
A sentencing hearing is expected for Perez in February. Perez’s lawyer has not returned requests for comment on the case.
“I really have no idea what they were thinking,” Sheriff Jeremy Thornton of Norman County told The New York Times about the case. “I just don’t understand the younger generation on trying to get their 15 minutes of fame.”
[Photo: Northwest Regional Corrections Center]