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Travis Reinking Trial

The jury found Reinking guilty of the charges.
Jury Sentences Waffle House Shooter Travis Reinking to Life in Prison Without Parole

District Attorney Glenn Funk, Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman and Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dowdy speak with reporters at the conclusion of the Waffle House shooting trial.

After hours of deliberation, a Davidson County jury has made a verdict in the trial for Travis Reinking — accused of killing four people and injuring others at an Antioch Waffle House in 2018.

On Friday morning, the prosecution and defense delivered their closing arguments. The evidence phase of the trial ended Thursday, after four days of testimony from witnesses, family members of the victims, various law enforcement officers and medical experts. Reinking waived his right to testify.

The jury consists of 10 women and 2 men. The group is made up of two Black women, one Asian woman, one Black man, seven white women and one white man. They have been sequestered for a week.

Two jury members, a Black woman and a white woman, were chosen at random to be alternates and were released from duty.

Below is the list of charges:

  • First-degree murder, premeditated — in the death of Joe Perez Jr.

  • First-degree murder, premeditated — in the death of Taurean Sanderlin

  • First-degree murder, premeditated — in the death of Akilah Dasilva

  • First-degree murder, premeditated — in the death of DeEbony Groves

  • Attempted first-degree murder, premeditated, with serious bodily injury — of Shantia Waggoner

  • Employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony — relating to attempted first-degree murder of Shanita Waggoner

  • Attempted first-degree murder, premeditated, with serious bodily injury — Sharita Henderson

  • Employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony — relating to attempted first-degree murder of Sharita Henderson

  • Attempted first-degree murder, premeditated — of Kayla Shaw

  • Employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony - relating to attempted first-degree murder of Kayla Shaw

  • Attempted first-degree murder, premeditated — of James Shaw Jr.

  • Employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony - relating to attempted first-degree murder of James Shaw Jr.

  • First-degree murder, felony murder — in the death of Joe Perez Jr.

  • First-degree murder, felony murder — in the death of Taurean Sanderlin

  • First-degree murder, felony murder — in the death of Akilah Dasilva

  • First-degree murder, felony murder — in the death of DeEbony Groves

Jury selection begins in the trial of the man accused of shooting and killing four people in an Antioch Waffle House in 2018.

Travis Reinking was indicted in 2019 after a judge deemed him fit to stand trial. Reinking is accused of going into the Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch and opening fire, killing four people with an AR-15, on April 22, 2018.

The trial was delayed for several months while he was being treated for schizophrenia.

 

 Reinking has pleaded not guilty and he's facing life in prison.  De'Ebony Groves, Akilah DaSilva, Joe Perez and Taurean Sanderlin died that day. 

Last year, DaSilv'a mother joined legislators in Washington D.C. in an effort to change the country's gun laws. 

"The shooter that killed my son and three others," pleaded Shaundelle Brooks, DaSilva's mother.  "...if they had done what they were supposed to do, my son probably would have been there." 

Reinking had a court hearing on Monday, the day after three people were injured in a shooting outside a Waffle House on Fort Campbell Boulevard in Clarksville.

Waffle House trial day 1: Opening statements, first witnesses called in Travis Reinking's murder case

Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn said Monday 62 witnesses are on the list to be called to testify.

Reinking enters plea of not guilty by reason of insanity

Reinking on Monday formally entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity to all 17 counts remaining against him.

The plea means his defense team has a difficult task ahead of them. Reinking now carries the legal burden to prove to the jury his mental state was so altered at the time of the shooting that he was unaware of wrongdoing.

Reinking faced a jury for the first time Monday morning.

Before trial began Monday, defense attorneys argued for a pause to show certain documents related to Reinking’s mental state to one of their experts. Prosecutors argued they waited until the last minute, and it was too late.

Fishburn agreed to allow expert witnesses to see videos and journals by Reinking and to prepare new reports by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

"They'd better get busy," he said.

Reinking's trial was previously delayed to allow treatment for his long diagnosed schizophrenia and to allow him to evaluated for his competency for trial.

His severe mental illness had been flagged before his arrest, as had previous run-ins with law enforcement in his home state of Illinois. 

At one point, Tazewell County, Illinois, law enforcement had taken away Reinking's authorization to own weapons in the state. But the suspect's father Jeffrey Reinking gave them back, including a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle alleged to be the one used in the Waffle House shooting. 

During questioning as part of jury section, both parties pressed potential jurors on whether they could find someone not guilty by reason of insanity, a somewhat rare defense strategy.

Arguments on the motion between Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore and defense attorney Paul Bruno took more than half an hour.

All the while District Attorney Glenn Funk stood out in the hallway, locked out with victims’ family members.

Funk waited for Fishburn to approve a note from his doctor confirming he was cleared from a COVID-19 diagnosis last week to return to court. He joined prosecutors just as the jury walked in.

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