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Ward man faces murder charge in NLR man’s death

Bond was set at $100,000 for Christopher Reynolds, 34, of Ward, who is to face a charge of first-degree murder in the Nov. 9 shooting of Ernest Hoskins, 21, of North Little Rock. Reynolds will also face two charges of aggravated assault.

Reynolds posted bond later in the day Tuesday.

The action came at a Tuesday morning bond hearing in Lonoke County Circuit Court before special Judge Robert Garrett, who was assigned in the absence of Div. III Circuit Judge Philip Whitaker.

The families of Hoskins and Reynolds were in the courtroom for the hearing.

Prosecuting attorney Chuck Graham asked for a $100,000 bond and for a no-contact order prohibiting contact with Hoskins’ family and friends. Graham also called for Reynolds to surrender all weapons he is in possession of as part of the bond requirements.

Reynolds’ attorney Hubert Alexander did not argue the bond amount, and assured that there were no weapons at the residence where Reynolds would be staying.

Alexander commented on the general nature of “friends” in the no-contact order, but otherwise assented to the restrictions.

Reynolds replied “yes” when queried directly by Garrett on whether Reynolds understood the order.

Reynolds’ next court appearance will be Jan. 7, before Div. I Circuit Court Judge Barbara Elmore.

Reynolds was arrested Saturday, Nov. 24, following a State Police investigation requested by Ward police on the day of the shooting.

According to the affidavit the shooting occurred at Reynolds’s Deer Run residence during a meeting between Reynolds, Hoskins and three other persons involved in Reynolds’ business, Reynell Industries.

In the affidavit, a witness reported that Reynolds had complained that Hoskins had not been “producing” for the business, got a pistol, pulled the slide back, pointed it at Hoskins and the gun fired.

The affidavit included a statement by Reynolds in which he describes picking up the gun, a .44 magnum, and pointing it at Hoskins’ head while “bantering” for about a minute. Reynolds described pulling the trigger once but the gun did not fire, “I then pulled the slide back and a round went in the chamber;” the gun fired while he tried to “de-cock” it by pulling the trigger and holding the hammer.

The shooting was reported to Ward police at about 2 p.m., Nov. 9. Hoskins was declared dead at about 2:30 p.m. by a Lonoke County coroner. On Nov. 13 the state Crime Lab medical examiner’s office issued a report listing the preliminary cause of death as injuries caused by a gunshot wound to the head; the manner of death was listed as homicide.

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