Zoey Ripple, recent CU grad shot after entering wrong house: Guilty plea, deferred sentence
Zoey Ripple, the recent CU graduate who was shot after wandering into the wrong home, may have been under the influence of a date-rape drug in addition to alcohol, her attorney maintains. Nonetheless, Ripple -- recently featured in a 20/20 report about drunk walking -- has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing in a deal that will keep her out of jail.
Big photos below.
As we noted in our most recent update about this case, published back in June, the charge is a felony that carries a potential penalty of five years behind bars. But as noted by the Boulder Daily Camera, prosecutors agreed to a deferred sentence. If Ripple stays out of trouble for the next eighteen months, the conviction will be expunged from her record.
A recap from our earlier posts, on view below: Ripple entered the spectacular home of Doreen Orion and Timothy Justice on May 23 after a night spent partying. She was apparently under the impression that she was still with friends when the couple began shouting at her to leave or face the prospect of being shot. When she didn't respond, Justice pulled the trigger, sending a piece of lead into her hip. She later registered a .2 blood alcohol content, almost triple the legal limit for intoxication. However, no test was done for date-rape drugs -- meaning there's no way to confirm the related theory floated by Ripple's lawyer, Colette Cribari, at yesterday's sentencing hearing.
Doreen Orion and Timothy Justice.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said Justice wouldn't be charged with a crime, since his actions fit within Colorado's Make My Day statute. However, he subsequently decided to fit Ripple with a trespassing beef under the belief that it perfectly matched the circumstances. "It simply means you entered someone's house without their permission," he told us in an interview earlier this year.
"This is sort of an offshoot of the drinking culture on University Hill, where people wander into the wrong house for one reason or another," he added. "And the charge is a way to make sure we help the person get treatment for what may be a serious drinking problem. We want to help them get that under control."
Garnett stressed that his office hadn't determined if Ripple fit this description. But, he said, "when you have a young person with an apparent blood-alcohol content of .2, that's an indication. You have to work pretty hard to get to a .2."
Despite the assertions about potential drugging, Ripple has reportedly attended substance-abuse classes, and she says she hasn't had a drink since the May night when she was suddenly thrust into the limelight. Learn more in this Daily Camera clip recorded after the sentencing, followed by our previous coverage.
Continue for our earlier reportage, including Ripple's arrest affidavit.