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Man charged with killing ex-girlfriend now accused of trying to hire someone to murder investigator, surviving victim

Investigators said Robert Tarr was in custody when he tried to hire someone to kill a surviving victim and a Montgomery County deputy investigating the case.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ill. — The man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend the day before Thanksgiving Day 2021 is now accused of trying to hire someone to kill two other people involved in the case.

Robert Tarr was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of solicitation of murder for hire last week. Tarr is already in custody at the Montgomery County Jail after he was charged with the murder of Leslie Reeves and attempted murder of Christopher Smith.

Investigators said Tarr was in custody when he tried to hire someone to kill Smith and a Montgomery County deputy investigating the case. The indictment said it happened sometime between Dec. of 2021 and June 11, 2022.

Tarr's bond for the new charges was set at $2 million. He was already being held on a $3 million bond.

Credit: Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

Reeves, a mother of two, was well known in the Troy, Illinois community. Her small business, All You Studio & Party Place, offered a space for women to practice yoga, do fitness training and learn self-defense.

Dawn Mushill was friends with Reeves and knew her through the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce.

She said Reeves hosted domestic violence classes and was loved by many.

"We miss her laugh and her smile. She was a wonderful mother. She is something special that you are lucky to have her in life," Mushill adds.

Mushill told 5 On Your Side she spoke to Reeves the day before the killing. 

Reeves was excited and ready to show personal safety techniques at an upcoming women's conference.

RELATED: Police: Woman shot, killed by ex-boyfriend on Thanksgiving

On the night before Thanksgiving 2021, Smith and Reeves were excited to go on their first date at a bar in Farmersville, Illinois, about 75 miles from St. Louis.

Smith had no idea it would be their last.

"I just don't get it. All I was trying to do was trying to go out on a date," Smith told 5 On Your Side's Robert Townsend in February.

The next day, relatives said a friend of Leslie Reeves called the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and asked for a welfare check at Smith's Farmersville home.

Deputies went there and found Reeves shot to death in the living room. Smith was discovered critically injured in his kitchen. Both were shot in the head.

"My neighbor found me on the floor 14 hours later with my dog cuddled up next to me, trying to keep me warm," said Smith.

Smith says, they were tracked to his home by a jealous ex-boyfriend. He alleges that's when the ex broke into his home and shot them in the head and left him for dead.

He shares, the kitchen door was left open and freezing cold air likely saved his life. 

Smith suffered multiple strokes and is now paralyzed on the left side of his body.

Smith shares, he has lost his home and his ability to work for now.

If you would like to donate for his continued recovery, click here to find more information.

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