HILLSBORO — After months of preliminary procedural standstill, it appears that Robert Tarr will remain in county jail until his trial.
Tarr appeared in court Friday alongside legal counsel Daniel Fultz in ongoing deliberations relating to the Thanksgiving Day 2021 shooting in Farmersville. Tarr allegedly shot and killed his former girlfriend, Troy businesswoman Leslie Reeves. In addition, he allegedly shot and nearly killed Christopher Smith, who was Reeves’ date the night prior. The shooting would occur in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day in Smith’s residence.
Tarr currently faces two charges of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Reeves and two charges of attempted murder for the Smith shooting. He is also facing two charges of soliciting in a murder-for-hire scheme.
Friday’s hearing was on motions from both sides of the case: State Attorney Andrew Affrunti’s motion to keep Tarr in detention and Fultz’s motion to modify pre-trial conditions.
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department detective Jeff Roach was sworn in and testified from the witness stand while the state presented two exhibits. Affrunti contends that he has presented clear, convincing evidence that the proof is quite evident, or that the presumption is great enough that Tarr committed the offenses of murder and attempted murder. He further contends that these offenses are eligible for further detention, even under the nature of the Pre-trial Fairness Act, otherwise known as the SAFE-T Act.
Reasons indicated on the record include the nature of his primary charges of murder and attempted murder. It also reflects the murder-for-hire scheme targeting not only Detective Roach but also Smith.
Tarr ruled as a clear danger to the community if released
Circuit Judge Christopher Matoush found that Tarr poses a real and present threat to the safety of the community. This especially includes Detective Jeff Roach, Christopher Smith, or anyone involved in the case.
Matoush further found that no conditions or combination of conditions under Section 110-10, including Roach and Smith, will be able to mitigate the clear and present threat to the community.
Affrunti filed the petition to detain within 21 days of the official enactment of the SAFE-T Act and was approved. Fultz’s motion to codify bond conditions was denied. Tarr remains in the Montgomery County Correctional Center without bond pending further intended appeal by Fultz.
Other matters relating to the case are still in resolution status relating to discovery. A status hearing will be on November 17 at 11 a.m.
Tarr’s jury trial remains confirmed for January 22, 2024.
Upcoming appearance on other charges
Tarr appears in court again on November 1 in relation to charges committed while in the Montgomery County Correctional Center.
He faces a felony charge for tampering with tampering with a security system while in detention.
He no-showed his last appearance on October 2, with Affrunti stating Tarr’s refusal to appear.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.