The YouTube stunt meant to rocket Pedro Ruiz III to internet fame killed him instead. Now his girlfriend will serve jail time for her part in his video-recorded death.
Twenty-year-old Monalisa Perez has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Ruiz on June 26 as cameras rolled outside their northwestern Minnesota home.
She entered her plea last week in Norman County District Court.
The plea agreement calls for her to spend 180 days in jail. Also, Perez cannot "make any financial compensation" from the recording of Ruiz's death and is "banned from possessing firearms for the rest of her life," the prosecution's court filing read.
Perez, who has two small children with Ruiz, will serve her six-month term 30 days per year for the next three years and then become eligible to serve the balance on electronic home monitoring, as long as she abides by the terms of her 10-year supervised probation.
A sentencing date in February is anticipated, Norman County Attorney James Brue said Tuesday.
Brue said he met with a sister of Ruiz and a number of aunts on Oct. 26, and "we talked about this proposed agreement, and they indicated that they were in support of it."
Perez could have received up to a 10-year term combining six or more years in prison and supervised release, but a sentence that long would have been unlikely.
Two cameras captured the fatal stunt at the couple's house in Halstad.
Authorities say Ruiz, 22, held a hardcover encyclopedia against his chest, and Perez stood barely a foot away and squeezed off a shot from a .50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, to see whether the bullet would go through the book.
Perez was pregnant at the time and their 3-year-old daughter was nearby.
The bullet pierced the book, and Ruiz fell mortally wounded. Perez called 911.
"We were doing a YouTube video, and it went wrong," a transcript of the call quotes Perez. "It's all on recording."
Perez spelled out her concern about the stunt on her Twitter account a few hours before the shooting. "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE," she wrote.
The county attorney's office said there are multiple videos of the killing, which investigators have so far withheld.
Perez, who has since given birth to the couple's second child, has a YouTube channel with many videos the couple made involving various stunts and pranks.
The channel remains live nearly six months since the shooting and it has drawn millions of views since Ruiz's death.