(Reuters) - A Minnesota teenager who fatally shot her boyfriend in a failed stunt for their YouTube channel that they hoped would make them famous has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, local media reported on Thursday.
Monalisa Perez, 19, fired a high-powered Desert Eagle pistol from close range at Pedro Ruiz III, 22, as he held a hardcover encyclopedia against his chest, hoping the book would stop the bullet, according to the Star Tribune newspaper.
The Desert Eagle pistol is described by firearms retailers as one of the world’s most powerful semiautomatic handguns.
The slug pierced the pages and Ruiz died during the incident on Monday at their home in Halstad, a city about 260 miles (418 km) northwest of Minneapolis, local media said. Perez, who is pregnant with the couple’s son, was arrested and on Wednesday appeared in court via video from jail.
The couple ran a YouTube channel, “La MonaLisa,” on which they posted videos of themselves performing pranks and stunts such as Perez hiding hot peppers in Ruiz’s sandwich. By Thursday, the channel had more than 3,000 subscribers.
Before the shooting, Perez wrote on Twitter that the pair were about to film “one of the most dangerous videos ever.”
“HIS idea not MINE,” she added.
Perez was released on Wednesday after posting $7,000 cash bail, the Star Tribune said. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
She did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment. Officials at Norman County District Court could not immediately be reached.
Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Matthew Lewis