Man who killed friend in bulletproof vest stunt is held without bail
By By Danae King and The Baltimore Sun
Jul 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM
The man accused of shooting his friend of 15 years in the chest, missing the bulletproof vest he was wearing and killing him, will be held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder, and two gun charges.
Mark Ramiro, 30, shot his friend Darnell Mitchell early Wednesday morning in front of a video camera, police said. Ramiro's attorney, Christopher Flohr, describes his client and Mitchell as intending to do a "Jackass"-style prank and said his client was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
"It was a tragic, tragic accident between friends fueled by alcohol and drug abuse," Flohr said. "There's no way to explain people messed up on drugs and alcohol."
Ramiro is unemployed and has never been treated for mental health problems, Flohr said. Ramiro has a history of abuse of marijuana as well as an assault on his record.
Flohr said the night started with dares to lick the toilet, which he said Mitchell did. On camera before the shooting, Mitchell said he was ready to take a "deuce deuce in the chest."
Flohr said there is nothing that indicates his client had any "ill will" toward the victim, and cited a similar case in another state where the defendant was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
"This in no way was my client ... trying to do anything but a stupid, ridiculous prank," Flohr said. "He did the best he could to save his friend's life."
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Assistant State's Attorney David Chiu said the defendant had "reckless disregard for human life and safety" and described him as an "extreme" threat to public safety.
"[The] motivation wasn't anger ... That motivation was fame and glory on the Web," Chiu said. "That's almost more disconcerting to the state. ... It was a deliberate videotaped shooting of someone [at] point-blank range."
District Judge L. Robert Cooper ruled that Ramiro would be held without bail.
"Mr. Ramiro took a loaded handgun, pointed it at someone and pulled the trigger," the judge said. "That is incredibly dangerous behavior."