During the second day of preliminary exam, the court heard from four of the boys' classmates or friends met while playing Call of Duty online, including James Vermeech, a 14-year-old who repeatedly testified that Candela and Rice made threats to kill him if he did not film a video of them allegedly plotting the middle school mass murder.
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In the 15-minute video shown in court earlier in the exam, Candela and Rice sat side-by-side in armchairs in Rice's parents' basement, smoking while describing the alleged plot to "shoot up" Zemmer Middle School and their plans to commit suicide after. Calling themselves "gods" and saying that they intended to "bring justice to the world, one school at a time," the two teens listed off intended targets in the shooting, throwing their heads back and laughing to themselves.
"It'll be nerve-wracking, alright, but it'll be the best moment of our lives," said Rice. Throughout the day, Rice's attorney, Matthew Norwood, asked all four of the teenage witnesses if they'd describe his client as "dramatic with his long hair over his face" or "seeking attention." "That wasn't the way Gunnar usually laughed, right, those big, deep belly laughs? Vermeech said at the sleepover, which he stayed at "for almost 24 hours," Candela and Rice lamented about their recent break-ups with girlfriends and became "blood brothers" by cutting into their shoulders and pressing the wounds together.
The teens' friends and family filled the entirety of the courtroom's gallery during both days of the exam.