What's next for Travis Reinking: State prison will evaluate, then place him

Travis Reinking
Posted at 1:57 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 21:12:20-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Travis Reinking is now a convicted killer.

The question now: What's next for the mass murderer in the Waffle House shootings?

The answer is not that simple.

His mental illness was an issue at trial and it will determine where he ends up in prison.

Reinking is still in the Davidson County Jail and will remain there for the next few weeks. But he'll be moved soon.

The jury last week convicted Reinking on four counts of first-degree murder for the Waffle House shootings and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Some have wondered if that means the 33-year-old, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, will be placed in close contact with other inmates.

"I cannot imagine this man will ever be in a general population situation," said attorney David Raybin.

He was not part of the Reinking case — but he's represented mentally ill clients over the years.

He said Reinking will first be sent to the Bledsoe Correctional Complex in Pikeville.

"It's a classification unit. Everyone goes there from Middle or East Tennessee. They classify them on danger, mental health, physical needs and the like," said Raybin.

Reinking killed four people and that mass murder places him at the top of the heap of the state's most dangerous criminals.

"They have a classification grid that they use. The nature of the crime ranks very high," Raybin said.

Raybin said Reinking's mental illness will almost surely keep him isolated and heavily medicated for the protection of himself and others.

This means after processing at the Bledsoe, he'll likely end up at the Lois Deberry Special Needs Facility in Nashville.

"It's not a country club or anything. It's a prison. You go by there with barbed wire. He'll be secure in max security facility there," said Raybin.

The bottom line is the defense and prosecution both agreed Reinking has a mental illness and that mental illness will dictate where he'll be held for the rest of his life behind bars — and it will not be in general population.

Reinking is serving life for murder. But he still will be sentenced later this spring for his additional convictions including attempted first-degree murder for the Waffle House victims who survived.