Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Wannabe YouTube star jailed for shooting boyfriend dead in botched prank

Monalisa Perez Monalisa Perez Norman County
Grady Vargas | 18 March, 2018, 02:10

Monalisa Perez will serve 180 non-consecutive days in jail for fatally shooting her boyfriend as part of an ill-fated online video, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

Monalisa Perez, a 20-year-old mother of two children, believed her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz would be shielded by a thick book as she shot him at close range last June in front of onlookers.

She and Mr Ruiz had posted a series of almost 20 videos to YouTube featuring mostly harmless pranks: Mr Ruiz climbing a tree and falling from a branch, Perez feeding him a doughnut covered with talcum powder instead of powdered sugar, eating the world's spiciest pepper.

She will also serve 10 years probation and is permanently banned from owning a firearm.

A few hours before the ill-fated video, Perez had written on social media that the stunt was "one of the most risky videos ever" and was Mr Ruiz's idea, not hers.

At the time of the shooting, Perez was pregnant with the couple's second child.

However, on Wednesday, the judge decided that the woman did not intentionally murder her boyfriend and that he was merely the aftermath of a miscalculate and idiotic prank. Family members from both side say the intend on making statements in court Wednesday and several of them are "in support" of the proposed sentencing.

"HIS idea not MINE", Perez tweeted just hours before the incident.

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Perez told police that Ruiz had convinced her the stunt was safe by showing her other books he had shot where the bullet hadn't passed through.

The couple had recorded a number of YouTube videos together, featuring them doing stunts and completing challenges.

She said the man's response was, 'We want more viewers'.

Perez and Ruiz wanted to become famous and showcase their pranks on a YouTube channel.

MonaLisa will have to spend only 90 days actually in jail and then she will alternate being in and out of prison every 10 days for six months.

If the 20-year-old had gone to trial and was found guilty, she could have been looking at up to 10 years behind bars.

The sentence is below the usual minimum guidelines, but was allowed to stand on the grounds that the stunt was mostly Ruiz's idea. The state is in the midst of a pilot project that is allowing media cameras at sentencings with a judge's consent.

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