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Minnesota woman pleads guilty YouTube stunt that killed friend

Monalisa Perez and Pedro Ruiz III, pictured in happier times. (YouTube)

A Minnesota woman has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing her boyfriend and father of her children in a YouTube stunt gone very wrong.

Monalisa Perez, 20, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree murder in the June 26 death of the 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III, the Star Tribune reported. Perez has two young children with Ruiz and the second child was born after the shooting, the newspaper added.

Perez told the investigators that Ruiz wanted to make a video of her, then 19, shooting a bullet in a hardcover encyclopedia he held against his chest, according to court records.

The woman said she fired a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol about a foot away. Two cameras recorded the incident, but the researchers have retained the images.

Perez, who reportedly called 911 immediately after the shooting, but Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple had a YouTube channel, which has not yet been removed, where they posted videos of pranks and stunts. The last video on their account was titled “Scary Doing Stunts at the Fair.”

At the time of the shooting, the husband of aunt Claudia Ruiz told Valley News Live that the couple had been trying to get famous on YouTube, so they were increasing their jokes.

Monalisa Perez pleaded guilty last week in the shooting death of her boyfriend.

(Northwest Regional Corrections Center)

“I don’t know why they thought that the book was intended to stop the bullet,” she told the website.

Hours before the shooting, Perez tweeted: “Me and Pedro are probably going to have to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE.”

Another aunt of Ruiz, Lisa Primeau, said her nephew was a thrill seeker who was always “putting a dangerous spin on everything he did.” They said that they included jumping in a pool without hesitation from the top of a house.

“We called him our little daredevil,” Primeau told the Star Tribune in June.

Perez is expected to be sentenced in oklahoma County District Court in February. Her plea agreement calls for her to serve six months in prison and 10 years under scrutiny.

As part of the deal, the woman would have her in jail for 30 days per year in the next three years, the Star Tribune reported. After three years, Perez would be eligible to finish her sentence with the help of a monitoring device.

The woman would also be prohibited from profiting from the deadly video and would be banned for life from having a gun, according to court documents.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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