Mum kills boyfriend in YouTube stunt
A YOUNG mum has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing her boyfriend while filming a YouTube stunt that the couple hoped would earn them viral fame.
MonaLisa Perez, 20, entered her plea in Norman County District Court to second-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III outside their Minnesota home in June.
The plea agreement called for Perez to serve 180 days in jail and spend a following 10 years on supervised probation.
The final ruling will be handed down by a judge during her official sentencing in February.
Perez and Ruiz had two young children together, with Perez being pregnant with the second child at the time of his death.
They had a YouTube channel on which they regularly posted videos of pranks and stunts they pulled on each other, with the last video uploaded titled "Doing scary stunts at the fair".
Perez reportedly told police that Ruiz had been pushing her to go through with his latest prank, in which he would hold a hardcover encyclopaedia up to his chest and get her to shoot at the book.
Perez pulled the trigger on a .50-calibre Desert Eagle gun, a pistol described in online ads as "one of the world's most powerful semiautomatic handguns."
According to the Star Tribune the stunt was carried out while their three-year-old daughter was nearby and as soon bullet went through Ruiz's chest Perez called 911.
"We were doing a YouTube video, and it went wrong," a transcript of the call quoted Perez as saying. She repeated the outline of the stunt to the dispatcher and revealed that "it's all on recording".
Perez had signalled her apprehensions about the stunt in a Twitter post prior to the event.
"Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE," she wrote.
His aunt, Claudia Ruiz, said Ms Perez would never deliberately hurt her nephew.
"They were in love. It was just a prank gone wrong," she told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. "He told me he had an idea. I said, 'Don't do it, don't do it. Why are you going to use a gun, why?'" Ms Ruiz told Valley News Live. "'Because we want more viewers', he said."
As part of the plea agreement Perez cannot "make any financial compensation" from the video-recorded killing of Ruiz and is "banned from possessing firearms for the rest of her life," the prosecution's court filing last week read.