A woman suspected of being intoxicated when she wandered into a Boulder, Colo., home in the middle of the night and was shot by the homeowner has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing.
Zoey Ripple's attorney told the judge Wednesday that her client might have been under the influence of a date-rape drug when she entered the multimillion-dollar home of Doreen Orion and Timothy Justice through an unlocked screen door in May.
Her lawyer, Colette Cribari, says Ripple still has no idea how she arrived at the home and believes someone took her there.
"Really scary things can happen and it's important to keep your bearings about you," Ripple said Wednesday.
Ripple, 21, was unarmed and allegedly intoxicated when she entered the home around 3:30 a.m. After repeatedly yelling at Ripple to leave, Justice took aim and shot her in the hip.
Authorities never tested Ripple for drugs that night, but her blood alcohol level was three times the legal level, according to police.
"Her statements to the police officer were pretty clear and yet she has no recollection of it at all and that kind of fits in with a date rape drug," said Cribari.
The judge deferred her sentence, meaning the charge could be wiped away from her record if she stays out of trouble and away from alcohol for 18 months.
"This has been an enormously traumatic incident and I'm deeply sorry that it has been for the justices as well," Ripple said.
The homeowners were not charged in the shooting and the University of Colorado graduate is looking to move on with her life and put the incident behind her.
Ripple says she has not had a drop of alcohol since that night and plans to move to Peru after her probation ends early next year. She wants to help start a woman's professional development and leadership program. But the bullet still lodged in her back serves as a constant reminder of that night.
"I need to continue to remind myself that this doesn't define me. I know who I am," Ripple said.
There are about 12 to 15 cases each year of drunken college kids wandering into someone's home, according to the Boulder County District Attorney.
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