An early Friday in November should have been the end of the work week for 21-year-old Ernest Hoskins of North Little Rock. His shooter is expected to go to trial in January.
What started out as a routine business meeting at the home of his boss ended with the death of the young father and newlywed.
According to witnesses, the owner of Reynell Industries, Christopher Reynolds, 34, of Ward, Ark., became upset over sales figures from the previous week.
According to the affidavit, one witness asserted owner Reynolds had complained that Mr. Hoskins had not been “producing” for the business, got a gun and fired it at Mr. Hoskins.
Mr. Reynolds stated in an affidavit that he picked up the gun, a .44 magnum, pointed the gun at Mr. Hoskins head and pulled the trigger but the gun did not fire.
“I then pulled the slide back and a round went into the chamber” and the gun went off while he was trying to “de-cock” it by pulling the trigger and holding the hammer.
That shot struck Mr. Hoskins in the head and ended his life in a small town approximately 30 miles north of Little Rock.
According to Nikki Hoskins, Earnest’s wife of less than five months, her husband had just received a promotion. He was made regional sales manager over the southern U.S., she said. He was at his boss’s house every day, and the employer extended dinner invitations to the couple.
Mr. Reynolds even took Earnest to meet his parents and enjoyed breakfast and lunch with them on more than one occasion, she added.
Ms. Hoskins described the relationship between her husband and his employer as unusually close, which made his death even more difficult to explain.
Earnest received a gift of a sword in the mail from Mr. Reynolds Nov. 5, four days before the shooting, she said. She told him he could not keep in the house. But then came gifts of several daggers Nov. 6, about which Mr. Reynolds allegedly said, “You’ll have to use them sooner or later,” according to the young widow.
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