Tragedy struck a young Minnesota couple trying to achieve YouTube fame, leaving a young man dead and his pregnant girlfriend charged with manslaughter.
“Over the past several weeks, Monalisa Perez of Halstad, Minn., and her boyfriend, Pedro Ruiz III, began their quest for YouTube fame by creating and posting videos of mostly harmless pranks: Mr. Ruiz climbing onto a tenuous tree branch and falling a short distance, or Ms. Perez feeding him a doughnut covered in baby powder rather than powdered sugar,” The New York Times reports. “On Monday evening, the couple suddenly upped the ante when, the authorities say, Ms. Perez, 19, shot at a thick book that Mr. Ruiz, 22, was holding, apparently believing that the bullet would not make it through the volume.”
The bullet struck Ruiz in the chest, killing him.
“Ms. Perez was arrested and booked into Northwest Regional Corrections Center on suspicion of reckless discharge of a firearm, the sheriff said. Then, on Wednesday morning, prosecutors charged her with second-degree manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both,” The Times reports.
“Ms. Perez told investigators that she had shot Mr. Ruiz from about a foot away while he held a 1.5-inch-thick book to his chest, the authorities said. She described using a firearm that matched the pistol that was found at the scene,” the report adds. “Mr. Ruiz had been ‘trying to get her’ to fire the gun ‘for a while,’ Ms. Perez told investigators, according to court documents. They state that he had set up one camera on the back of a vehicle and another on a ladder to capture the stunt.”
The couple posted their previous prank videos on YouTube on their La MonaLisa account.
Monalisa Perez and Pedro Ruiz III (YouTube)