Mark Ramiro allegedly shot his friend Darnell Mitchell last Wednesday when the two men were demonstrating a bulletproof vest for a homemade video in Ramiro's Baltimore basement.
Mitchell was fatally wounded after Ramiro reportedly shot him above the vest with a .22-caliber bullet while an unidentified third person filmed the incident.
Ramiro and Mitchell were friends for fifteen years, but now Ramiro has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and two gun charges, notes RawStory.com (video below).
Ramiro's attorney Christopher Flohr claims Ramiro and Mitchell planned to do a "Jackass"-style prank, and that Ramiro had been using alcohol and drugs.
"It was a tragic, tragic accident between friends fueled by alcohol and drug abuse," Flohr told The Baltimore Sun. "There's no way to explain people messed up on drugs and alcohol."
According to Flohr, the two began the night by daring each other to lick a toilet, which escalated to Mitchell saying on the homemade video that he was ready to take a "deuce deuce in the chest" while wearing the bulletproof vest.
After Mitchell was shot, Ramiro and the cameraman walked him to a nearby hospital where Mitchell died at about 4 a.m. last Wednesday morning.
"This in no way was my client... trying to do anything but a stupid, ridiculous prank," Flohr added. "He did the best he could to save his friend's life."
"[The] motivation wasn't anger... That motivation was fame and glory on the web," Assistant State's Attorney David Chiu stated. "That's almost more disconcerting to the state... It was a deliberate videotaped shooting of someone [at] point-blank range."
While reckless, it's not clear how seeking "fame and glory on the web" constitutes first-degree murder.
"I can't believe that this case would be first-degree murder," Byron Warnken, a defense attorney and University of Baltimore law professor, told WBAL-TV, but then went on to explain that premeditation could possibly be proved. "Premeditation, this computer [points toward the brain] works very rapidly. Premeditation can happen in a split, split second."