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Plea made in killing of employee

A plea agreement today gives 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction to a Ward businessman who shot and killed one of his employees during a staff meeting in November 2012. The killing sparked criticism of Lonoke County prosecutors when charges were slow to be filed.

In the agreement Chris Reynolds, 33, of Ward was given 10 years in ADC for manslaughter in the killing of Ernest Hoskins Jr., 21, of North Little Rock.

The killing occurred Nov. 9, 2012, at Reynolds’ residence on Deer Run Drive at Ward.

According to the arrest affidavit, filed March 1, 2013, Reynolds said he and four of his employees were having a sales meeting when Reynolds challenged Hoskins on low sales.

Reynolds said they were “bantering back and forth” when he picked up a .44 Magnum pistol and pointed the pistol at Hoskins’ head.

The account said the “bantering” had continued for about a minute when Reynolds pulled the trigger.

The gun did not fire, and Reynolds said he pulled the slide back and a round went into the chamber. “I tried to de-cock the hammer on the pistol by pulling the trigger and holding the hammer as it moved forward. The gun then went off and struck Ernest in the face. I put the gun back up and called 911,” the affidavit quotes.

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