Monalisa Perez (19 years old) and her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz III (22 years old) are popular pranksters with a YouTube called La MonaLisa. Their channel currently has over 29,000 subscribers, and they have a three-year-old child with Perez pregnant for another. However, things took a dangerous turn in June of 2017 when the couple was preparing for their most dangerous stunt ever. This prank entailed Ruiz holding a book in front of his body while Perez shot at it. The idea was the book would deflect the bullet, not leading to any harm. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
When Perez unwillingly agreed to partake in the prank, she fired the bullet toward the book that was shielding Ruiz. The gun used, a .50-caliber Desert Eagle handgun, was too powerful to be blocked by the book. Ruiz died from the shot.
The interesting pieces of this case include the fact that the entire ordeal was filmed (as this was going to be a prank video on YouTube). It is evident that Ruiz pressured and ultimately convinced Perez to shoot the gun. On video and a written transcript, she said, “I can't do it, babe. I'm so scared…Babe, I’m not doing this, I can’t…Babe, if I kill you what’s gonna happen to my life. Like no this isn’t OK.” Ruiz responded with: “As long as you hit the book, you'll be fine. Come on” as he repetitively encouraged her to pull the trigger. Perez also published a tweet before the event saying “Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. His idea, not mine.”
Although it is clear that Perez did not willingly shoot the gun and did not want to kill Ruiz, she was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Although this charge has a potential sentence of 10 years behind bars, Perez took a plea deal which granted her 180 days in prison which can be dispersed over a 6-year time period for 30 days per year. In addition, Perez is prohibited to owning a firearm for the rest of her life.
Do you agree that Perez was charged with second-degree manslaughter and faced with jail time? Since the entire incident was filmed, was there sufficient evidence that Ruiz convinced Perez to fire the gun? What are your thoughts?
Link (for articles): https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/29/minnesota-woman-fatally-shoots-boyfriend-youtube-stunt-gone-wrong/438406001/">https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/29/minnesota-woman-fatally-shoots-boyfriend-youtube-stunt-gone-wrong/438406001/ and https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/world/video-shows-youtube-star-forced-girlfriend-to-shoot-him/ar-AAz40hw">https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/world/video-shows-youtube-star-forced-girlfriend-to-shoot-him/ar-AAz40hw
Link (for picture): https://heavy.com/news/2017/06/mona-lisa-monalisa-perez-pedro-ruiz-shooting-youtube-videos-stunt-facebook-photos-pictures/">https://heavy.com/news/2017/06/mona-lisa-monalisa-perez-pedro-ruiz-shooting-youtube-videos-stunt-facebook-photos-pictures/