Orange County man charged in diaper thief's shooting death gets bond reduced

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Video of a man shooting a suspected diaper thief outside a Walmart was played in court Friday as the suspect tried to get his bond reduced.

Deputies said Lonnie Leonard shot 19-year-old Arthur Adams at a Walmart on Clarcona Ocoee Road in February.

In court, Leonard was able to get his bond reduced from $100,000 to a little over $25,000.

Leonard’s family said he wasn’t doing well in jail and that he’s dying from cancer.

His attorney told the court he has no prior criminal history, has prostate cancer and has been living off Social Security and disability.

Investigators said Leonard shot Adams because he thought he had a gun.

“Mr. Leonard has demonstrated throughout the course of his life that he’s not the kind of person who goes out looking for trouble,” said defense attorney Ted Merrero.

They said Leonard noticed a confrontation between Adams and a loss prevention officer as Adams was loading diapers into a vehicle.

In court, the defense argued Leonard wasn’t a flight risk because he has family in the area and has no prior history.

Watch: Surveillance video from the day of the shooting 

Prosecutors argued Leonard’s actions put a lot of people in danger and added that he was very quick to pull out his gun.

The video played in court showed Leonard following behind the theft suspects with his hand in his jacket to pull out a gun.

“That behavior demonstrated a great amount of dangerousness compared to many homicides that we see,” said prosecutor Will Jay.

Leonard told investigators he fired because he thought the teen was reaching for a gun.

In the end, the judge decided to lower the total bond on three counts to $26,500.

Leonard’s attorney said he should be able to bond out.

Leonard is not allowed to have weapons or return to Walmart. He must live with his sister while he is out of jail.

WATCH: Interview with victim's brother

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.