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Farmersville man making strides in recovery following shooting

By Jake Leonard

It has been just over six months since the Thanksgiving Day shooting of a Troy businesswoman and a Farmersville man who could have very well lost his life. Robert “Bobby” Tarr of Collinsville awaits his next court appearance for the murder of 45-year-old ex-girlfriend Leslie Reeves and the attempted murder of her date, 48-year-old Chris Smith of Farmersville. Recently, some positive developments have emerged relating to Smith.

Smith recalls some of the events of the incident, as Tarr broke into his residence via a back door, shooting Reeves in the head as she was hiding behind his Christmas tree. Tarr would then hold the gun to Smith’s head in an execution-style manner and shot him as well.

Reeves was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime, while Smith was left for dead, lying lifeless and freezing on his kitchen floor for 13 hours, due to the front door of his home being wide open.

Smith was found by a friend, who happened to be the chief of the Farmersville-Waggoner Ambulance Service, who had a role in rushing Smith to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

Initially, there was very little to no hope for any recovery. However, Smith was determined to make a recovery at any cost.

After seven weeks in the intensive care unit at St. John’s, he continued his recovery process at SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital in St. Louis for another month. Today, his progress is being considered a medical marvel.

“A lot of people with that type of injury don’t typically even make it out of the hospital. He did,” said Ossie Cloe, a registered nurse at St. John’s. “He’s getting around. He’s able to talk, carry on a conversation. It’s quite astounding.”

Tarr was arrested days later, appearing in court on November 30 for the first time, initially on a $2 million bond. Despite an attempt in February by defense attorney David Fahrenkamp to reduce it to $1 million, Circuit Judge Jim Roberts increased the bond to $3 million at the persistence of Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti.

Developments in the last month came during the month of April in the form of letters from Tarr to the court on April 11 and 12, followed by a defendant motion on April 18.

The letters and motion were addressed on April 19. The letters from Tarr were regarding issues with the jail population at the Montgomery County Jail. It is currently unknown the nature of Tarr’s complaints with the jail population, as repeated inquiries to Montgomery County Clerk Daniel Robbins have not been returned as of Tuesday, May 3.

The unsigned motion, presumably from Tarr, was related to personal property obtained via a search warrant.

The documents were ordered by Judge Roberts in remarks to forward copies of the letters to Affrunti, Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Robbins, and Fahrenkamp for consideration and scheduled for a hearing on those issues, if deemed necessary.

Tarr’s next pre-trial hearing is at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18 in a virtual courtroom setting.

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