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Pregnant YouTuber jailed for killing partner in stunt

A pregnant woman who shot dead her boyfriend in a botched YouTube stunt has been jailed for six months.

Monalisa Perez and Ricardo Ruiz III were hoping to create a viral video by stopping a bullet with a book.

The 20-year-old fired a .50 calibre handgun at Mr Ruiz from roughly a foot (30cm) away as he held an encyclopaedia to his chest.

A Desert Eagle pistol was used for the stunt, which has been described as “one of the world’s most powerful semi-automatic handguns”.

The bullet pierced the book – and the 22-year-old died from the gunshot wound.

According to local media, 30 people – including the couple’s young daughter – witnessed the shooting.

Perez pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, but her sentence was lower than suggested by state guidelines.

James Brue, an attorney in Norman County, Minnesota, said: “This foolish stunt was dreamed up, planned and executed by Pedro Ruiz, and the defendant wrongfully and tragically relied on his assurances that the stunt was safe.”

A few hours before the ill-fated video, Perez had written on social media that the stunt was “one of the most dangerous videos ever” and was Mr Ruiz’s idea, not hers.

Perez has since given birth to their second child. She has been sentenced to a 180-day jail term, 90 of which will be spent in prison.

She will alternate being in and out of prison every 10 days for six months, and will spend the remaining 90 days of her sentence in home confinement.

According to a plea agreement, Perez is forbidden from making any financial compensation from the recording of Ruiz’s death, and she will be banned from owning a gun for the rest of her life.

At the time of the incident, the victim’s aunt, Claudia Ruiz, told WDAY-TV the couple often carried out pranks and put them on their amateur video channel.

She told Valley News Live: “They were in love. They loved each other. It was just a prank gone wrong. It shouldn’t have happened like this.

“He had told me about an idea. I said, don’t do it, don’t do it. Why are you going to use a gun? Why? Because, we want more viewers.

“I don’t know why they thought the book was supposed to stop the bullet.”

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The couple’s YouTube channel was described as “all about craziness”, and has just under 2,000 subscribers.

Their earlier pranks had included disguising icing sugar as baby powder and putting it on a doughnut, and planting the world’s hottest chilli in each other’s sandwiches.

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