Colo. Grad Thought She Was Entering Friend’s House When Shot

May 30, 2012 1:52pm

A University of Colorado graduate shot and wounded last week during what police say was an intoxicated, middle-of-the-night intrusion into a Boulder couple’s bedroom has now been arrested for felony criminal trespassing.

Zoey Ripple’s attorney today called the incident an “unfortunate” black mark for an otherwise “terrific person.” Ripple, 21, turned herself in and was released on a $5,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit filed Tuesday, friends allegedly told a Boulder Police detective that Ripple had been to two different house parties and a local bar on the night of May 22 and early morning of May 23. Friends say Ripple had been drinking “throughout the night,” according to the affidavit. At about 2:30 a.m. Ripple told a man at the second house party that she was leaving, and he believed she was walking home, the affidavit said.

After she was shot, Ripple told a detective she thought she had been going into a friend’s house.

“She remembered stepping down towards the bedroom and a bedroom door that was open,” the detective wrote in the affidavit. “I asked her what if anything she said. Zoey told me ‘the same thing I always say when I open a door – hello.’”

“She walked in and was very confused because there was shouting and yelling and then she was shot,” the detective wrote.

Just before 3:30 a.m., Doreen Orion called 9-1-1 to report that her husband Timothy Justice had just shot an intruder.

“She came in, and we started screaming at her to leave and she kept coming in,” Orion told dispatchers, noting that Ripple seemed disoriented.

The house where Justice and Orion live is about three-quarters of a mile from the house party that Ripple had left about an hour earlier.

“She seems kind of stoned or something,” Orion said. The couple has not responded to interview requests and have placed a sign at the end of their driveway that reads, “no trespassing, keep out.”

Ripple has not spoken publicly but her attorney Colette Cribari says the 21-year old has no criminal history and points out her client has a long record of volunteer and community service with local soup kitchens and groups that help runaway and homeless kids.

She maintained a GPA of 3.57 at the University of Colorado, graduating in May with a degree in speech language and hearing science, according to her resume. Ripple, the resume says, has organized coat drives, worked as a camp counselor for developmentally disabled adults and kids, and founded a program called “Dancing with Our Stars” to teach dancing to teens with Down Syndrome.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office said Ripple had a blood alcohol level of 0.2 at the time she was shot.

“Any time we have a young person with a blood alcohol this high, we take it as a warning sign that there may be a drinking problem,” district attorney Stan Garnett told ABC News.

Garnett says incidents of alleged drunken trespassing are relatively common. Often, Garnett says, the goal is getting the person treatment rather than jail time.

First-degree criminal trespassing carries a one to five year prison sentence if Ripple is convicted. She’s scheduled to appear in court June 15.

ABC News producer Charlie Brennan contributed to this report.

 

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