Zoey Ripple surrenders in Boulder home intrusion case

BOULDER, Colo. – Zoey Ripple, the 21-year-old woman accused of drunkenly wandering into a Boulder home last week only to be shot by one of the homeowners, was booked into the Boulder County Jail on Tuesday.

Police say under Colorado’s Make My Day law, the homeowner who shot her is not being charged.

According to the arrest documents, there is no prior connection between Ripple and the homeowners. 

Timothy Justice and Doreen Orion say they were sleeping when they heard and saw someone come into their house through an unlocked door.  They say they shouted at her to stop, but she did not. 

Justice told police he finally pulled a gun from the nightstand and shot Ripple when she was six feet from the foot of the bed.  Orion, a psychiatrist who wrote a book about a dangerous stalker who threatened her, called 911 in a panic.

Ripple told police she thought she was at a friend’s house, and yelled “hello” like she always does and became confused when people started shouting at her.

Police say Ripple had been drinking at The Goose Bar on the Hill and then went to a party.  There is about an hour gap and then Ripple shows up inside the strangers’ home and is shot.

Police say Ripple had a blood alcohol level around three times the legal limit when she opened an unlocked screen door and entered the College Avenue home of Timothy Justice and Doreen Orion around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, and then walked into the couple’s bedroom.

“Being drunk is not a defense,” said Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett. 

He says they see 12 to 15 cases like this a year, and adds they’ve had two cases of a drunk person wandering into a stranger’s home in the past seven days. 

“Depending on the case, what we normally try to do is evaluate the person and help them figure out what kind of treatment they need to get for their drinking problem,” Garnett said.

Ripple’s roommate, Patrick Mulholland, says he does not think Ripple has a drinking problem. Hesays she’s a terrific person and this is totally unlike her.

Ripple was released from the hospital and posted a $5,000 bond to get out of jail Tuesday afternoon.

Her roommate says she’s fully recovered and is doing fine.

Her attorney, Colette Cribari, says Ripple does not want to comment, but Cribari released a copy of Ripple’s resume, which includes an impressive GPA and involvement in organizations that focus on leadership and community involvement.

Garnett says this kind of case is a reminder to people to not drink to excess.  He says if you’re with someone who does, make sure they get home safely.  And, he adds, homeowners should remember to lock their doors.