By Jake Leonard
It only required one witness for Judge Jim Roberts to find probable cause against a Collinsville man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and shooting the man she was with in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving.
A preliminary hearing for Robert “Bobby” J. Tarr, 48, was held virtually Monday afternoon in Montgomery County Court via Zoom. The only witness called by State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti was that of Det. Jeff Roach with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.
During Roach’s questioning and testimony, information about prior text messages, video surveillance, and the fact that Leslie Reeves had a stalker in 2019 came to light.
According to court information, Reeves, 45, was out on a date with Chris Smith, 48, on Wednesday, Nov. 24. They later went back to his home at 104 Nobbie St. in Farmersville. On Thanksgiving morning, both were found shot inside the home. Reeves suffered a fatal shot to the head. Smith, also shot in the head, is continuing to fight for his life in an area medical facility.
Roach testified discovery of two silver 9mm shell casings at the scene. After gathering statements from individuals who knew both victims, authorities made their way to Collinsville to interrogate Tarr.
Roach stated that Tarr spoke with police, claiming he did not know where Farmersville was or if he was ever there. He further testified that Tarr stated that he didn’t leave home until after 8 p.m. on the night of November 24.
Tarr left residence twice
Affrunti inquired about Roach’s interview with Tarr’s daughter. Roach stated the daughter told him that her father left the house twice on November 24, the first time around 6 p.m. and again at 9:15 p.m.
“She said that he woke her up in her bedroom about 2:45 a.m. (on Thanksgiving),” Roach testified. “He was doing laundry at that time.”
Roach then testified that upon his daughter’s arrival at her father’s Collinsville home on Sunday, Nov. 21, she observed her brother and a friend of her father conversing. She then observed her father getting out what appeared to be a green-colored firearm with a laser on top of it.
Further information was brought to light when Affrunti inquired of Roach about text messages between Tarr and a “close friend.” Roach confirmed one of the text messages that read, “I don’t feel like she would drive that far for a party or go out with a girlfriend. I think it’s for a dude.”
Roach testified that Tarr owns a white 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. Traffic cameras, according to Roach, captured the vehicle several times between Troy and Farmersville. Roach would further confirm the identity of Tarr on a camera at a gas station at 12:09 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Further testimony from Roach reveals that Bobby’s brother, Adam Tarr, met with Collinsville authorities and provided them with a 9mm gun. Accessories to the gun, such as the cartridge, matched what was found at the crime scene in Farmersville.
Defense inquires about other potential suspects
Tarr’s defense attorney David Fahrenkamp questioned Roach on his 20+ years of experience on the Department.
Fahrenkamp inquired if Roach had investigated another individual by the name of Mark Leonard. Madison County court records from 2019 show that Leonard was given a “no contact order” after Reeves accused him of stalking. The no contact order is also known as an “order of protection.” The order was issued in September 2019 and revoked three months later via case dismissal in December 2019.
Roach revealed no prior knowledge of the order and had not considered Leonard as a possible suspect.
Fahrenkamp alleged that Leonard stole personal items from Reeves, refusing to return them.
Roach also stated that he also didn’t investigate Reeves’ ex-husband, Roger Reeves, saying, “From everyone we were speaking to, they were getting along.”
Roach later gave testimony that Tarr was not checked for gunshot residue.
Investigation continues, trial requested
Roberts concluded the hearing, stating the investigation is ongoing in its early stages with more information to come.
Fahrenkamp made a request for a jury trial, with a pre-trial hearing possibly set for 9 a.m. on February 16.
Tarr remains in Montgomery County Jail unless he can post 10 percent of his $3 million bond.