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Failed stunt with bulletproof vest leads to murder charge

A Maryland man has been charged for murder after a botched attempt to test a bulletproof vest. The accused man shot his 28-year-old friend to death on July 16 while he and another friend stood in the basement of a home in Westport. The incident happened shortly before 4 a.m. and was captured on videotape. The mother of the accused man referred all questions about the incident to her son's criminal defense attorney, but the attorney has not yet offered any comments.

The video footage of the incident shows the man who would soon be shot to death look into the video camera and say that he was ready for a 'deuce deuce in the chest." The footage ends with the accused man dropping his gun as he and the other friend rush to help the man. According to reports, the men then transported their friend to University of Maryland Medical Center where he was quickly pronounced dead.

As a result of the fatal incident, the man was charged for one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder as well as two gun charges. According to a spokesman for the state's attorney, the court commissioner had sought the additional first-degree murder charge after city prosecutors had already handed the man the second-degree murder charge.

In a case like this, the video footage of the incident may help the defendant to argue for a reduced sentence. Because the deceased man was a willing participant in the failed stunt, a defendant in a case like this could argue that a murder charge is inappropriate.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Man charged with shooting friend in botched test of bulletproof vest", Colin Campbell, July 17, 2014

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