MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — A complaint over noise provoked a 59-year-old Arkansas man to shoot a fellow boarding house resident 22 times, according to an affidavit filed earlier this week in the murder case.
Robert Penny of rural Mountain Home is being held on $1 million bond in the Dec. 5 homicide. He has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and two counts of second-degree felony criminal mischief.
On the morning that Chester Raymond Hornowski, 71, died, investigators say Penny spoke to a third resident of the boarding house about 4 miles from town, confronting the man about noise that disturbed him. Mountain Home is about 110 miles north of the state capital of Little Rock.
The man informed the property owner of Penny's complaint and a meeting of residents was called, according to the court papers. As the man walked toward the area of the meeting, he heard multiple gunshots.
The man encountered Penny walking out of a room. Penny reportedly said, "Yeah, he's dead. You want some of this, too?" according to the affidavit.
The man, whose name has not been released because he is a witness and was threatened, tried to flee, slipped, fell and struck his head on a table. He got up, ran to his room and called 911.
During the 911 call, dispatchers heard gunfire in the background, four shots in all.
Deputies raced to the scene along with Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery. Troopers from the Arkansas State Police, personnel from the Mountain Home Fire Department, emergency medical technicians from two ambulances, officers from the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, members of the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force and medical examiners from the Baxter County Coroner's Office eventually joined them.
But when deputies arrived, they encountered Penny, who was trying to leave the scene in a 2004 Ford Ranger pickup. Two deputies fired at Penny as he tried to flee, his pickup went airborne after heading toward a ditch and it rammed the sheriff's new 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe.
Following the shooting, Penny was taken by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries in the crash. He later was released to law enforcement officers, who transported him to Baxter County jail.
Penny told law-enforcement officials that he was in the living room and kitchen area of the home when Hornowski entered the area in a rage, telling him he was going to be evicted.
Hornowski then punched Penny three times in the chest, Penny said. Penny then told investigators he went to his room to retrieve his pistol.
Penny returned to the living area and alleged that Hornowski made a gesture as if he were going to hit again, so Penny pointed his pistol at Hornowski's chest and fired 18 shots. Hornowski died with gunshot wounds to the chest, hands and face.
Penny said he reloaded his pistol and shot Hornowski's motionless body four more times because Hornowski had "ruined his life." Penny is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
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