Illinois Man Accused of Murdering Ex on a Date, Hired Hitman to Kill Surviving Witness and Deputy Investigating the Crime

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An Illinois man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and grievously injuring a man she was dating didn't just stop there, said authorities in Montgomery County.

Robert J. Tarr, 49, allegedly hired someone to kill the survivor of the attack and a deputy investigating the case.

Tarr Killed Ex While She was on a Date

Robert J. Tarr and Leslie J. Reeves
Robert J. Tarr and Leslie J. Reeves Twitter

Tarr was charged with two new counts of solicitation of murder for hire following an investigation by a Montgomery County Sheriff's Office into the murder. During the investigation, authorities found that Tarr hired a person to kill the surviving victim of the November incident as well as a sheriff's deputy investigating the case, the sheriff's office said in a press statement published Monday.

Tarr was already facing a count of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Authorities have said he attacked his ex-girlfriend Leslie J. Reeves, 45, and Christopher Smith while the two victims were at Smith's Farmerville home for a date in November 2021.

Reeves, Smith Found During Welfare Check

Reeves provided self defense and firearms training for women and was on a domestic violence shelter board. Law enforcement authorities performed a welfare check when Smith failed to show up to a Thanksgiving lunch and Reeves' friends were unable to reach her.

"They called our sheriff's dispatch in Montgomery County for a welfare check. Authorities arrived at the house, saw that a crime had been committed. Officers responded and went in and located Ms. Reeves deceased" with a gunshot wound.

Smith was shot in the head but survived and was taken to the hospital. The gunshot had so severely injured Smith that he was unable to call for help all the hours after the shooting.

Smith told KSDK in a February report that he was grateful to be alive, but he was paralyzed on the left side of his body, could not walk and was struggling emotionally. The bullet was reportedly still in his brain.

Tarr Denied the Allegations but Evidence Contradicted His Claims

Denying wrongdoing, Tarr allegedly asserted that he had been at his home since November 24. However, Evidence proved Tarr's account false, authorities said.

"Officers interviewed other individuals who indicated that Mr. Tarr did in fact leave the residence and returned in the early morning hours of the 25th and appeared to be upset and disheveled," Montgomery County State's Attorney Andrew Affruntialleged during a bond hearing in the initial murder case.

"Officers were also able to determine the vehicle that Mr. Tarr had at his residence, a Volkswagen Jetta, was seen on license plate readers leaving the area in the evening hours and then returning back in the area about 12:08 a.m. — which matches the time frame as well. The vehicle had been freshly washed and the floorboard was still soaking wet," Afrunti added.