Note by Arkansas Party Chairman’s Killer Is a Mystery

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The New York Sun

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Police said yesterday they hadn’t found any connection between the slain Arkansas Democratic Party chairman, Bill Gwatney, and a telephone number written with his last name on a Post-It note found in the home of the man who killed him.

The number did not match state party headquarters, Gwatney’s home number, any of his three General Motors car dealerships, or any cell phone police know of for him, Little Rock police Lieutenant Terry Hastings said. A subpoena has been issued to determine who owns the working Arkansas phone number, he said.

The note found at Timothy Dale Johnson’s house is one of the few clues left that police hope will help them determine why Johnson drove 30 miles to Little Rock to shoot and kill Gwatney at state party headquarters August 13. Johnson, 50, was shot and killed by police after a 30-mile chase into Grant County.

The telephone number “could be anything,” Lieutenant Hastings said. “It could a salesman he talked to at Gwatney. It could be a friend’s phone number. We just don’t know.”

Lieutenant Hastings said police will not release the number.

Johnson also had two sets of keys bearing Gwatney’s dealership logo, but Hastings said investigators hadn’t found the vehicles to which they belong.

“They’re old keys. They probably don’t go to anything anymore,” he said. “The only vehicle he had was the truck and it didn’t go to that.”

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