A French farmer is on trial for killing a suspected truffle thief with two blasts from a pump-action shotgun.

Laurent Rambaud, 37, told police he was guarding his truffle patch around nightfall Dec. 20, 2010 when he was surprised by a man and a dog. Saying he feared for his life, he opened fire.

The victim, Ernest Pardo, 42, was a hospital employee from a nearby town who police say was known to sell truffles at local markets. Pardo was found with a small pick in his hand.

Rambaud told police he didn't mean to kill Pardo.

The killing took place in Grignan, a small town in the Rhone valley near one of France's largest truffle markets. The prized delicacy sells for up to $1,000 per kilogram (2.2 pounds).