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Woman charged with manslaughter in boyfriend's death during YouTube prank appears in court

Mona Lisa Perez

ADA, Minn.—A woman charged with second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of her boyfriend last summer made an initial appearance in Norman County District Court on Friday, Oct. 27.

Monalisa Perez, 20, is accused in court papers of shooting Pedro Ruiz III, 22, in the chest in June during what Perez told investigators was an attempt to make a profitable YouTube video.

At Friday's hearing, the court told Perez to keep the court and her attorney informed about where she is living and she was ordered to make all future court appearances.

Conditions of release were set at $7,000 cash bail with conditions, $50,000 bond with no conditions and $100,000 bond without conditions.

Her next appearance in court was set for Dec. 15.

According to court documents:

The shooting happened June 26 in Halstad, about 35 miles north of Moorhead.

When emergency workers arrived on the scene, they attempted life-saving measures on Ruiz but he was later declared dead.

After the shooting, authorities found a gold Desert Eagle .50-caliber handgun in the grass near the couple's home.

Perez told a Norman County sheriff's deputy that Ruiz, who is the father of her two children, wanted to make a video of her shooting a book and Ruiz believed that the book would stop the bullet.

She said the incident was recorded and she gave the deputy two cameras. Those videos are considered evidence and won't be released until the conclusion of the case.

Perez said Ruiz set up one camera on the back of a vehicle and the other on a ladder nearby. She said she agreed to do the video and to shoot the gun after Ruiz showed her a different book that he had shot that prevented the bullet from going all the way through.

She told authorities that she shot at Ruiz from about a foot away while Ruiz held a book to his chest.

The bullet went into her boyfriend's chest.

Perez posted a Tweet about 5 p.m. that Monday in June stating: "Me and Pedro are probably going to shoot one of the most dangerous videos ever. HIS idea not MINE."

An emergency call to the Norman County Sheriff's Office came at 6:30 p.m.

At Friday's hearing, Perez was shielded by loved ones as she walked into the courtroom and out.

Since Ruiz's death, Perez gave birth to a son and members of the Ruiz family said Friday, Oct. 27, they are worried the child will not have a relationship with his father's side of the family.

Ruiz's sister, Princess Ruiz, said her family is not against Perez.

"We can't live in this world hating each other for one incident because we have many years to come with two children who need to learn to love and not hate in this world," Ruiz added.

Prosecutors said Perez is living in South Dakota with her two children.

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