by Max Brantley
Christopher Reynolds, 35, who stood accused of manslaughter for shooting his employee Ernest Hoskins during a November 2012 business meeting at Reynolds' home in Ward, accepted a plea deal on July 24 and was sentenced in Lonoke County Circuit Court to the 10-year maximum with no possibility of appeal.
He could be paroled in 2.5 years. You'll remember that this was the case in which the victim's family raised an outcry because there was no arrest in the case initially. Ultimately a special prosecutor was appointed. Koon reports this week that the victim's family still has some unhappiness about the outcome.
Special prosecutor Jack McQuary said his interviews with witnesses found that there was a reckless disregard for basic firearm safety at Reynolds' house, saying Reynolds was "swinging around" guns that he believed to be unloaded. That, combined with what McQuary said was a lack of motive, led to the charge of manslaughter. In the Times' story in April, McQuary was quoted saying that "The Supreme Court has held that manslaughter must be more than an accident. It's recklessness. To me, this is elementary about it, but it's an accident plus incredible stupidity."