Screengrab via YouTube/Monalisa Perez

Teen who killed boyfriend in botched YouTube stunt sentenced to 180 days in jail (update)

She'll serve a 180-day sentence.


Sarah Jasmine Montgomery


Published Jun 28, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 1:29 am CDT

Update 6:30pm CT, March 15Perez was sentenced on Wednesday to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the fatal shooting of her boyfriend Pedro Ruiz, BuzzFeed News reported. Her sentence also includes a lifetime ban on possessing firearms.

Perez, who retained custody of both of her children, will be on probation for 10 years and allowed to serve her jail time in 10-day increments.

Update 3:05pm CT, Dec. 20Perez, now 20, pled guilty on Tuesday to manslaughter in the shooting death of boyfriend Pedro Ruiz. A plea deal in the case dictates she’ll serve 180 days in prison, with 10 years probation, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune. She’ll be formally sentenced in February.

She’ll serve her term 30 days per year for the next three years, and is then eligible to finish her sentence via an electronic home monitor.

A 19-year-old from Minnesota was charged with manslaughter on Wednesday after fatally shooting her boyfriend while shooting a stunt for a YouTube video. Monalisa Perez was arrested Monday night after she shot her 22-year-old boyfriend Pedro Ruiz and called 911.

Perez shot her boyfriend as the couple tried to make a YouTube video showing that a book could be used as a shield from a bullet to the chest. Ruiz held an encyclopedia to his chest as Perez shot him. He died on the scene. 

Perez was held in a regional jail until she was arraigned in court Wednesday afternoon, where she was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Perez has been publishing YouTube videos on her channel La Monalisa since March. Perez often posted videos of her and Ruiz doing harmless pranks and stunts, alongside updates about their life together and her life as a teen mom. Her last video posted Monday was titled “DOING SCARY STUNTS AT THE FAIR.” The about section describes the channel as “the real life of a young couple who happen to be teen parents. From highs to lows. Achievements to struggles.”

On Monday before the incident, Perez tweeted that the couple was about to film their most dangerous video, which she claims was Ruiz’s idea.

The couple had a 3-year-old daughter, and Perez is pregnant and due in September to have a boy. Their daughter witnessed the shooting.

According to authorities, Perez shot Ruiz using a gold Desert Eagle .50 caliber pistol from about a foot away. The two cameras used to record the shooting were confiscated by police.

Ruiz’s aunt Claudia Ruiz told WDAY-TV that the whole situation was an accident. “They were in love. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this. It shouldn’t have happened at all,” said Ruiz.

Perez could face up to 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both.

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*First Published: Jun 28, 2017, 6:29 pm CDT