Accused Waffle House Shooter No Longer In Davidson County Jail

Posted at 2:45 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 19:22:59-04

The accused Waffle House shooter is reportedly mentally ill, and for that reason, Travis Reinking is no longer at the Davidson County Jail.

The accused mass murderer has been moved to at new location where doctors are seeking to restore his sanity, and there are some questions about security for such a dangerous patient.

Reinking is now at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute in Donelson.

"I think the design of the facility is adequate for sure. It's cells and can be locked down, and folks there are monitoring him," said Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall. He had custody of Reinking, but after a judge ruled him incompetent to stand trial, Reinking was moved.

"He is their responsibility from morning to night," said Hall.

For the next six months, doctors at the Forensic Services program will work to improve Reinking's mental state.

"There's a thing called restoration of competency. It means trying to restore you to a level where you can be tried," said Hall. But, there's no guarantee that will ever happen.

Reinking is not the only accused killer at the facility. Richard Arriola was arrested 23 years ago and charged with killing Davidson County Deputy Jerry Newsom.

There were questions about Arriola's sanity then, and to this day, he remains at the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, never convicted without a successful appeal of the deputy's murder.

"Literally you could spend the rest of your life there. You either stand trial, or you are declared incompetent," said Hall.

Doctors at the institute cannot comment on specific cases, but they said the vast majority of patients are restored to competency and returned to stand trial within six months.

At last count, the state reported 32 inmates are at the institute for an evaluation of sanity, while prosecutors wait to see if they will be competent to stand trial.