Community Members Use Statement to Push For Harsher Charges in Shooting Case

People rallying for harsher charges in the shooting death of Ernest Hoskins Jr. circulate a petition.
A grassroots effort is brewing to bring more attention to the death of an Arkansas man.

People pushing for harsher charges in the shooting death of Ernest Hoskins Jr. say his killer should be facing murder chargers based on the confession some say is being overlooked.

Right now, supporters are circulating a petition on hoping to grab the governor's attention. Their ultimate goal is to get the prosecutor to upgrade the charge from manslaughter to murder.

Special Prosecutor Jack McQuary charged Christopher Reynolds with Manslaughter for shooting and killing Hoskins in a business meeting at his Ward home in November.

Hoskins' family attorney argue Reynolds should face a murder charge based on his statement to police.In it, Reynolds says the two were going back and forth about work performance when he picked up a gun.

Here is an excerpt from Christopher Reynold's statement to police:

"I picked up a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum pistol from behind me. I pointed it at Ernest's head and we were bantering for approximately one minute. I pulled the trigger and the gun did not go off. I then pulled the slide back and a round went in 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 went off and struck Ernest in the face. I put the gun back up and called 911."

According to court documents a judge signed off on a mental evaluation for Reynolds at the end of March. McQuary says that the case is still under investigation.

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