LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A preliminary hearing began Tuesday that will determine whether three people will stand trial for the beating death of a USC graduate student from China.

Prosecutors played security videos at the hearing, showing the victim, Xinran Ji, 24, in his final moments July 23.

One of the videos appears to capture an initial conflict between the victim and at least one suspect.

In another video, a young man wearing a backpack is seen walking as another individual follows him closely, and apparently chases him for a moment. At this point, a second individual enters the screen and begins walking towards Ji.

Prosecutors then say a brutal beating takes place, and Ji is seen on the tape staggering, trying to lean against a car.

The three defendants, Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16, all looked on as deputy district attorney John McKinney proceeded to discuss evidence in the case against them.

Surveillance footage from as many as seven security cameras, combined with statements that were provided by the defendants themselves, paints a picture of what happened, according to McKinney.

A fourth defendant, Andrew Garcia, was separated from the case, in order to examine his mental competence. If he is found mentally competent, he will be tried separately.

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