A key witness in the trial of three men charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery is allowed to give pre-recorded testimony for health reasons.

BRUNSWICK, Georgia – (Note: the video above is from a previous related report.)

A key witness in the trial against three men charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery is dismissed for health reasons before the trial begins.

According to a new arrangement in the case, Satilla Shores homeowner Larry English will make a recorded testimony ahead of the October 18 trial.

English owned the house under construction, which Arbery sees entering in a surveillance video on February 23, 2020, just before he was shot and killed by Travis McMichael. McMichael, his father Greg, and their neighbor William Roddy Bryan are all charged with first degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Arbery.

According to the ruling, “the court finds that the witness is essential to the issues raised in the above case and the state of health of the witness could reasonably prevent him from giving evidence at the trial on the matter in October 2021”.

The order is in response to a joint motion filed by prosecutors and defense lawyers last October that said “serious health problems … his ability to testify in court are at risk”. According to a letter from his doctor, English suffers from cardiac sarcoidosis, decreased heart function, and a weakened immune system that put him at high risk if contracted COVID-19.

In May 2020, English attorney J. Elizabeth Graddy issued a statement citing her “severe medical condition, made worse by the stress of responding to the McMichaels’ actions.”

The statement distanced English from the incident, stating that it did not seek or sanction the actions of the defendants. According to video clips released by Graddy, February 23rd was just one of several occasions when people entered the construction site without permission.

English, who was living 90 miles away at the time, was using a motion-activated security camera to monitor the property. Graddy said when previous violations occurred, English contacted law enforcement twice – once through a non-emergency number and once through 911 – but not on Feb.23.

“Nothing was ever stolen from English property,” the statement said. “Even if theft or damage had occurred, the English would never have wanted a vigilant response. The English didn’t know the McMichaels to justify the McMichaels’ actions. “

Graddy said English told officers he didn’t think Arbery did anything wrong that day and may have come to the property for a drink of water.

English also offered condolences to Arbery’s family.

“The homeowners were shocked and deeply saddened by these events, which they later learned of. The homeowners are parents and they have heartbreak for Mr Arbery’s mother and father. Larry English and his family pray for the Arberys.”