NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Davidson County jury has found Travis Reinking guilty of all 16 counts against him, including premeditated murder, in the deadly shooting of four people at an Antioch Waffle House in 2018. In doing so, the jury rejected the claim of insanity made by Reinking's defense team.
The sentencing hearing will begin Saturday morning at 9 a.m. The jury will choose between a life sentence without parole, or the possibility of parole after 51 years.
NEXT: This same jury must enter the sentencing phase, to decide whether to sentence Reinking to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or possibility of parole after 51 full calendar years. @NC5
— Jason Lamb (@JasonLambNC5) February 4, 2022
Under state law, there were two legal prongs jurors must conclude for Reinking's insanity defense to have succeed. First, Reinking "was unable to appreciate the nature or wrongfulness" of his acts. Second, that inability was "as a result of a severe mental disease or defect."
Over the course of the five-day trial, the main debate centered around whether or not Reinking was insane when he opened fire at the Waffle House. The defense did not argue against the facts of the shooting.
Previous trial coverage:
Day 1: Opening arguments, prosecution begins
James Shaw Jr. recounts wrestling gun away from Travis Reinking
Day 2: Prosecution calls victim, various law enforcement officers to testify
Day 3: Prosecution calls final witness before resting its case
Travis Reinking wrote he was being hacked, possibly delusional in letters to Taylor Swift, Oprah
Day 3: Defense calls its first witness, a forensic psychologist, to testify on Reinking's mental health
Day 4: Defense calls second psychologist, state calls rebuttal witnesses
On jail meal tray, Reinking drew depiction of Waffle House shooting
Day 5: Closing arguments, jury hears charges then begins deliberation
TIMELINE OF WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTING CASE
April 22, 2018: Four people are killed and four others wounded when a gunman opens fire at an Antioch Waffle House around 3:30 a.m.
Metro Nashville Police Department officials named 29-year-old Travis Reinking, from Illinois, as a person of interest in the shooting, saying the vehicle the gunman used was registered to him.
MNPD officers, to include SWAT, have continued the search for Travis Reinking in the Antioch area overnight. There have been no credible sightings. The search will continue. All schools in the area have been cleared by officers. He was last seen Sun morn behind his apt complex. pic.twitter.com/ChY1ihCdKG— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) April 23, 2018
April 23, 2018: Reinking is taken into custody
After a tense, 34-hour manhunt, Reinking is arrested in a wooded area near Old Hickory Boulevard and Hobson Pike.
The area in which Travis Reinking was apprehended was the subject of aerial and canine searches Sunday and ground searches earlier today. His movements since the shooting are unknown. Reinking refused to give a statement to detectives. pic.twitter.com/F36lxQz6mz— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) April 23, 2018
He’s been in custody ever since and is now at the new Davidson County jail.
August 2018: Reinking deemed not competent to stand trial
A mental evaluation finds that Reinking is not competent to stand trial. Reinking, diagnosed with schizophrenia, is checked into the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute for evaluation.
A judge later deems him fit for trial and he's indicted on 16 counts, including murder.
Below is the list of charges:
- Four counts of first-degree murder, premeditated — in the deaths of Joe Perez Jr., Taurean Sanderlin, Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves
- Two counts of attempted first-degree murder, premeditated, with serious bodily injury — of Shantia Waggoner and Sharita Henderson
- Two counts of employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony — relating to attempted first-degree murder of Shanita Waggoner and Sharita Henderson
- Two counts of attempted first-degree murder, premeditated — of Kayla Shaw and James Shaw Jr.
- Two counts of employing firearm during commission of or attempted to commit a dangerous felony - relating to attempted first-degree murder of Kayla Shaw and James Shaw Jr.
- Four counts of first-degree murder, felony murder — in the death of Joe Perez Jr., Taurean Sanderlin, Akilah Dasilva, DeEbony Groves
February 2019: Reinking pleads not guilty
Reinking pleads not guilty to charges related to the shooting. Reinking does not appear in court; his lawyer enters the plea on his behalf.
January 2020: Prosecutors announce they won't seek death penalty
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS:
DeEbony Groves was from Gallatin and a senior at Belmont, majoring in social work. She was shot and killed inside the restaurant. She was 21.
Akilah Dasilva was inside with his girlfriend and brother when he was shot. He was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died. Friends called him a “passionate” musician who was pursuing a career in musical engineering at MTSU.
Joe Perez, the youngest victim, moved to Nashville from Texas a few months prior to the shooting and was also shot outside the restaurant. He was 20 years old.
Taurean Sanderlin age 29, was a Waffle House employee from Goodlettsville. He was shot and killed as he stood outside.