Drunk woman shot by homeowner pleads guilty
University grad ignored warnings the couple had a gun
By PoliceOne Staff
BOULDER, Colo. — A 21-year-old woman who was shot in the hip by a homeowner after police said she drunkenly wandered into a house pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing.
The plea agreement on Wednesday determined Zoey Ripple, a graduate of the University of Colorado, will receive a deferred sentence, meaning if she avoids more charges over an 18-month period, the felony trespassing charge will be removed from her record.
Ripple's attorney Colette Cribari said she may have been drugged with GHB just prior to the incident in May, when she entered a Boulder home through an unlocked door around 3:30 a.m., ignoring warnings from a couple inside that they had a gun. Timothy Justice fired one shot in the darkness, striking Ripple in the hip.
"We were screaming at her but she kept coming in the bedroom and we shot her," Justice's wife, Doreen Orion, told emergency dispatchers at the time. "She's in the house now. She's awake. She's fine, but she's shot."
The couple said Ripple, whose blood alcohol content was above 0.2 percent, never said a word. She was briefly hospitalized with a fractured hip.
A drug test was not administered at the hospital, but Cribari told the Daily Camera she doubted someone as drunk as Ripple could have made it to the home. Ripple has a vague memory of being in a car, which Cribari said the presence of a drug might explain, along with her ability to hold conversations with officers but not remember them.
Orion is a psychiatrist who was stalked for more than ten years by a schizophrenic woman she treated briefly, according to a 1999 online article in Psychiatric News. The woman followed her to Colorado and moved into the same Boulder neighborhood.
Justice was not charged due to provisions of Colorado's "Make My Day" law that allow for his action.