New reward being offered one year after Paul Tinsley’s murder

Photos from January 2012 video
Photos from January 2012 video
Photos from January 2012 video
Photos from January 2012 video

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) – The family and friends of Paul Tinsley are still seeking closure one year after his death.

Someone shot and killed Tinsley inside his used car dealership in Newport, one year ago Thursday.

The murder case remains unsolved, as police have yet to make any arrests or name a suspect.

The people that knew Tinsley best, however, have yet to give up hope and are now offering another incentive for someone to step forward and help solve this case.

"Every day, someone brings up the name of Paul Tinsley at the 'coffee table' for some reason or another," said Jim Bishop, former Jackson County sheriff and Tinsley's long time friend.

On any given afternoon, Tinsley could be found seated among his friends at what they call the 'coffee table' at The Smokehouse restaurant in Newport.

Tinsley would play a game each day with them to see who would pay for everyone else's coffee.

"Mr. Paul thought it was always funny if Jim Bishop got stuck [with the bill]," Bishop remembered, laughing. "He'd call down here [to my furniture store] and tell my wife, 'Linda, Jim lost the coffee game.'"

Bishop and a few others played the coffee game Thursday in honor of their old friend, who died exactly one year ago.

"It's a big void," Bishop said.

That void has grown larger for Tinsley's friends and family each day that his murder goes unsolved.

An unknown gunman walked into Tinsley's business on January 3, 2012, and fatally shot him.

Arkansas State Police is now assisting the Newport Police Department with this case, though Bishop and some of his friends decided to help too.

"Paul would be dedicated to me if it would've been me in that chair," Bishop said, "and I'm going to do the same for Paul Tinsley."

A small committee formed several months ago and collected $30,000 as a reward, but the money has done little so far to advance the investigation.

"Today, I am offering a $5,000 cash reward just for an arrest of a person, not a conviction," Bishop said. "The $5,000 is for whoever has any information to get it to the Newport Police Department or the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

"If it's a good conviction," he added, "you will get the $30,000 at the conclusion of this case."

Bishop hopes that the additional $5,000 reward will make someone feel more compelled to come forward and share information because he believes someone out there knows something.

"I hope to see [KAIT] back here in a short period of time with me saying, 'I told you so,'" Bishop said.

He spoke on behalf of Tinsley's family Thursday, whom Region 8 News respected by not including in our report.

Anyone with information regarded this unsolved murder is asked to call the Newport Police Department's investigators at 870-523-2722.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.