Arkansas man arrested in shooting death of his employee
An arrest has been made in the case of an Arkansas man allegedly shot to death by his boss near Little Rock, Arkansas.
Christopher Reynolds, 34, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Ernest Hoskins Jr. Hoskins, 21, was attending a business lunch at Reynolds’ home in Ward, along with three other employees of Reynolds’ company on November 9th, when Reynolds allegedly retrieved a 44 Magnum “Desert Eagle” pistol and shot Hoskins point blank in the face. Reynolds then allegedly called 911.
Hoskins’ mother and widow held a press conference over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend demanding Reynolds be arrested. At least two witnesses to the shooting have allegedly come forward in the case, confirming that Reynolds shot Hoskins.
Reynolds was being held Monday at the Lonoke County jail. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault, according to local news reports, and is scheduled for his first court appearance Tuesday.
Arkansas State Police are assisting with the university, but spokesman Bill Sadler referred theGrio to the local Ward police department for further information in the case, citing statutes that protect the state investigation from public review while the case is ongoing.
Reached for comment, Hoskins’ widow, Nikki, and his mother, Monica Hoskins, expressed relief at the arrest. And Nikki Hoskins said she spoke with two witnesses to the shooting, both of whom were stunned by what they saw.
“They did not know why [Reynolds] pulled the gun out and pointed it at Ernest and pulled the trigger,” Nikki said. “The meeting had concluded, in which he had told Ernest that he was going to take his position while [Reynolds] was out of town. And then he pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.”
Nikki said one of the witnesses told her that she was afraid to leave her house after the incident, and that she “can’t stop thinking about it.” She said the witness, a woman who preferred not to be identified, was asked to come to a company meeting a week after the incident and refused.”
Nikki Hoskins said the second witness, a man, corroborated the story, saying there was no argument before the shooting, “no fights, no debates, nothing.”
She added that she is “glad that we can start on the road to justice,” but that the arrest won’t bring home the husband she calls the love of her life.
And Monica Hoskins added that her 15 and 11 year old daughters are taking their older brother’s death hard, as is she.
“I’m doing as well as could be expected,” Monica Hoskins said. “I have my days … my nights … and he’s not coming home, and I have not accepted that.” Hoskins’ father passed away in 1998.
“I pray that justice will be done,” she said.
The women’s attorney, Ben Crump, called the arrest just a first step.
“It’s gonna be a long journey to get justice,” he said, adding that Nikki Hoskins, a member of the U.S. Army, is scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan next April.
“She fights for our system, and the question is, is the system gonna be there for her.”