WARD, Ark. (KTHV) - The man accused of killing a North Little Rock newlywed goes before a judge first thing Tuesday morning. Christopher Reynolds, 34, faces a first degree murder charge and two aggravated assault charges in the shooting death of Ernest Hoskins Jr.
THV 11 News went to Ward on Monday where all of this started about two weeks ago at the home of Christopher Reynolds. From talking to some of Reynolds' neighbors and his attorney, they all seem to think this was a tragic accident despite the serious charges now facing Reynolds.
"I've never noticed any kind of trouble, I've never noticed like a lot of cars over there or anything like that, I've never noticed anything unusual," said neighbor Elizabeth Gerbracht.
Reynolds wasn't home Monday because he's in custody at the Lonoke County Jail with no bond. He's charged in the November 9 shooting death of 21-year-old Ernest Hoskins of North Little Rock. Prosecutors say Hoskins went to the home for a business meeting, and at some point for an unknown reason, Reynolds brought out a gun.
"All the neighbors were standing outside wondering what was going on," Gerbracht said.
Another neighbor told THV 11 News off-camera Reynolds has lived along Deer Run Drive in Ward for at least 13 years with his wife. That neighbor described him as a "decent, level-headed guy" and somebody who could be "friends with everybody." But the victim's family and supporters are struggling "to see a friend" in Reynolds right now. They gathered for a prayer vigil Monday at the Capitol.
"Right now I'm just hurt, I'm angry and I just keep asking the question why," said wife, Nikki Hoskins.
She and many neighbors are searching for answers as to what happened inside that house.
"Definitely, as a neighbor, I want to keep posted on everything that's going on because I think as a neighborhood we have a right to know," Gerbracht said.
THV 11 News also talked to the attorney representing Reynolds. He's Hubert Alexander from Jacksonville. By phone, Alexander said he was hired Monday and hasn't had a chance to review all the facts of the case. But he said, from what's he's heard so far, this all seems to be a tragic accident with no intent to kill.
The Lonoke County Prosecutor, Chuck Graham, said three people were in the house at the time of the shooting, in addition to Hoskins and Reynolds.
Arrest reports say Reynolds was attempting to "de-cock" his pistol when it went off and a round struck and killed Hoskins. Both sides will be in court Tuesday morning at 8:30 for Reynolds' first appearance. It will take place at the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office.