Man charged with threatening Congressman Davis

By Kevin Beese Staff Reporter

Randall Tarr (Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department photo)

A man has been charged with making a threatening communication against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-13th).

Randall Tarr, 64, a resident of the 200 block of East Mill Street in Rochester, was arrested Thursday (Dec. 12) and appeared in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins in Springfield.

The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint alleges that on the morning of Nov. 25, Tarr called the Decatur office of Congressman Davis and left a profanity-filled voicemail message in which he threatened to shoot the congressman over Davis’ comments in a televised interview where he suggests Ukraine may have played a role in election interference in 2016.

U.S. intelligence agencies have repeatedly found no evidence to support that idea, a theory pushed by President Trump and members of the Republican party.

According to the affidavit, the voicemail message was forwarded to U.S. Capitol police in Washington D.C. Through caller ID, police identified Tarr as the alleged caller and contacted the Rochester Police Department to ask officers to make contact with Tarr. Rochester police officers made initial contact with Tarr on Nov. 25 at his residence. According to the affidavit, FBI officers subsequently interviewed Tarr.

FBI agents said Tarr admitted to making the call. The U.S. Army veteran said that he had seen a television ad about Davis that made him mad and that he called the number listed in the commercial, according to agents.

Tarr said he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he made the call, the FBI said.

Tarr said, and records show, that he does not own any firearms, agents said.

The complaint charges Tarr with one count of communication of a threat to injure a person, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, and one count of making a threat to a federal official, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

During Thursday’s hearing, Judge Schanzle-Haskins appointed the federal public defender to represent Tarr for purposes of determining bond. Tarr was released from custody under conditions, including home detention and location monitoring; prohibited contact with any alleged victims and witnesses; prohibited from consumption of alcohol; and further, that Tarr cooperate in drug and alcohol screening and mental health evaluation. Schanzle-Haskins scheduled the next court appearance for Tarr on Tuesday (Dec. 17). Results of that hearing were not available as of press time.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rochester Police Department are conducting the investigation.