Judge Sentences Ward Man to Ten Years for Manslaughter

Ar Local

 A judge sends a Central Arkansas man to prison for 10 years for shooting and killing his employee.

The case is now closed, leaving the victim’s family outraged by the surprise plea deal.

Ernest Hoskins Jr.’s mother broke down listening to details of what happened leading up to death of her son in court Wednesday. She’d says she’d hoped to hear witnesses and the shooter, Christopher Reynolds, explain exactly what happened in trial. With the plea, Reynolds is heading to prison and Hoskins mother fears she may never learn why her son was killed.

“I still want justice,” says Monica Hoskins.

The plea was not the ending Nikkisha and Monica Hoskins hoped for.

“I’m not really  happy with charges,” says Nikki Hoskins. “But the fact that he’s not walking the streets anymore, he’s going to serve at least 10 years, I feel a little better.”

They’ve been fighting for justice for Monica’s slain son since November 2012, when Nikkisha got the worst call of her life.

“He said, ‘I just want to tell you Ernest was killed today,” she recalled. 

A special prosecutor charged Ernest’s boss, Christopher Reynolds with manslaughter, but the family and supporters petitioned for murder charges based on Reynolds’ statement to police.

Don Hill from Don’s Weaponry helped demonstrate how Reynolds says he handled the gun in an interview with state police.

Reynolds told investigators he pointed the gun at Ernest head. In the statement he also said,
“I pulled the trigger and the gun did not go off. I then pulled the slide back and a round went in the chamber.”

He went on to say the gun went off when he tried to uncock it.

“That means he’s incredibly stupid in handling firearms,” says Special Prosecutor Jack McQuary.

After the sentencing Wednesday, the prosecutor said he listened to the families concerns but leaned on witnesses to make his final decision.

” Each of them said they do not feel he purposefully  killed Ernest Hoskins, how do you prove something when witnesses say no?” he asks.

Without motive, McQuary says he can’t prove murder.  The family argues, anything less isn’t justice.

“I totally disagree,” Monica Hoskins says, “I need to hear him, I need to know why did you do this to my son.”

The prosecutor says according to witnesses, it was not uncommon for Reynolds to pull out a gun at a meeting and that sometimes they even went out to shoot with one another.

Reynolds was sentenced to ten years in prison, but the prosecutor says he could get out in 2 and half years.

Continued Coverage:

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