Trial begins Tuesday for man accused of killing shoplifter

The trial for a man accused of killing a suspected shoplifter begins Tuesday in Orange County.

Lonnie Leonard  was charged with manslaughter back in April 2017. 

Deputies said he shot and killed 19-year-old Arthur Adams outside of a Walmart in Pine Hills. 

They said the victim and two others were stealing two cartloads worth of stuff - including diapers - from the store and when Leonard saw store employees try to stop them, he jumped in and shot at them. 

Deputies say Adams and the others drove off in a stolen car and then crashed. Adams died later at the hospital.  

Leonard was charged with manslaughter a couple months later.

Since then, he and his family have maintained that Leonard is a good guy and that he was just trying to stop a few thieves and thought he was doing the right thing.

Leonard wrote letters to the judge a few months back and was offered a plea deal last week but refused it, according to court records. 

Now, he said  he wants to appear in court in his jail jumpsuit rather than getting dressed up. 

The trial gets underway Tuesday.