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Defendant Greg McMichael sits with his attorney Laura Hogue before the start of the trial for Ahmaud Arbery's shooting death at the Glynn County Courthouse, in Brunswick, Ga., on Nov. 9, 2021.POOL/The Associated Press

A jury was shown video on Thursday of Ahmaud Arbery walking around a vacant property on an earlier visit to the mostly white southern Georgia neighbourhood where the Black man was chased and shot by three white men who are now on trial for murder.

Gregory McMichael, 65; his son Travis McMichael, 35; and their neighbour William (Roddie) Bryan, 52, have pleaded not guilty to murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment. They face life in prison if convicted of murder.

The men say they thought Mr. Arbery might have been fleeing a crime when he ran through Satilla Shores, a suburb of the small coastal city of Brunswick, in February, 2020. They pursued him in pickup trucks for several minutes before the younger McMichael pointed a shotgun and fired as Mr. Arbery ran toward him and reached at the weapon. Their lawyers say this was justified self-defence.

In a video deposition recorded in September and played to the jury on Thursday, Larry English said he had been slowly building a house in Satilla Shores, which would end up setting in motion the events that led to Mr. Arbery’s killing.

“My dream was to have a place on the water,” he said. He knew local kids sometimes roamed about the property, which was unfenced, and worried about people having an accident around the boat dock out back, so he installed surveillance cameras that sent videos to his phone.

A clip of Mr. Arbery walking around the dock at night in October, 2019, was played, along with a recording of the 911 call Mr. English made.

“I got a trespasser,” Mr. English told the operator, saying he could see on camera a “coloured guy” with tattoos on his arms and curly hair and who may have been drunk or on drugs as he was “plundering around” the property.

In the deposition, Mr. English said he decided soon after that it was more likely the man was not intoxicated but moving cautiously in the dark in a way that looked odd on the night-vision video.

Nothing was taken that night, Mr. English said. A clip from November showing a man and woman, both white, wandering through the property at night was also played, along with the 911 call Mr. English made to report them.

Mr. English shared the clips of Mr. Arbery with some of his neighbours, and the McMichaels have said they knew about the reports of an unknown Black man roaming around the English property when Mr. Arbery ran by their driveway on Feb. 23, 2020.

Mr. English has also said through a lawyer that he later concluded Mr. Arbery had been stopping by a faucet on his property for a drink of water.

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