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Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in fatal YouTube shooting stunt

Mona Lisa Perez

ADA, Minn. — A 20-year-old woman has pleaded guilty in Norman County District Court to second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of her boyfriend last summer.

Under a plea agreement between the prosecution and defense, Monalisa Perez would serve 180 days in jail and spend 10 years on supervised probation. The judge, however, will have the final say on her sentence.

Last June, police said Perez shot and killed her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, who was holding up a book as part of a stunt they recorded and planned to feature on YouTube. Court documents suggest the two thought the book would stop the bullet.

Perez entered her guilty plea on Friday, Dec. 15. Her sentencing will likely be in February, said Norman County Attorney Jim Brue.

According to court documents:

The shooting happened June 26 in Halstad, about 35 miles north of Moorhead. When emergency workers arrived at the scene, they attempted life-saving measures on Ruiz, but he was later declared dead.

After the shooting, authorities found a gold Desert Eagle .50-caliber handgun in the grass near the couple's home.

Perez told a Norman County sheriff's deputy that Ruiz, who is the father of her two children, wanted to make a video of her shooting a book and that Ruiz believed the book would stop the bullet.

She said the incident was recorded, and she gave the deputy two cameras. Those videos are considered evidence and won't be released until the conclusion of the case.

Perez said Ruiz set up one camera on the back of a vehicle and the other on a ladder nearby. She said she agreed to make the video and to shoot the gun after Ruiz showed her a different book that he had shot that prevented the bullet from going all the way through.

She told authorities that she shot at Ruiz from about a foot away while Ruiz held a book to his chest. The bullet went into her boyfriend's chest.

Perez posted a message on Twitter about 5 p.m. that Monday in June, saying: "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE."

An emergency call to the Norman County Sheriff's Office came at 6:30 p.m.

Dave Olson
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