Illinois man faces up to three years in prison after being found guilty of illegally giving his son an assault rifle which he later used to shoot and kill four people in 2018 at a Waffle House of Tennessee.
A judge convicted Jeffrey Reinking last week of illegally delivering a firearm to a person who had been treated for mental illness for the past five years, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported. He remains free on bail pending his sentencing, which is set for June 17.
During Reinking’s May 13 trial, Tazewell County prosecutors argued that the rural Morton, Illinois man knew his son, Travis Reinking, had undergone mental health treatment in 2016.
In May 2016, police and firefighters responded to a pharmacy parking lot in Morton where Travis Reinking told officers he believed singer Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacked into his cellphone.
Reports obtained by the Journal Star in 2018 showed that Travis Reinking was brought to a Peoria hospital for evaluation after this incident and agreed to go to the hospital.
But Jeffrey Reinking’s attorney, Kevin Sullivan, argued at trial that his client did not know his son was being treated for mental health issues at the hospital. Sullivan said he knew his son was taken to the hospital but did not know why and was not guilty of the charge.
Because young Reinking had his gun owner’s ID revoked by the Illinois State Police, he could not legally have guns in the state. Travis Reinking surrendered his guns to his father, who then returned them to him at some point before the fatal shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville, prosecutors said.
The assault rifle he used in this attack, an AR-15, was one of the weapons his father returned to him.
Travis Reinking was sentenced in February to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and other counts. He opened fire inside the restaurant on April 22, 2018, killing Taurean Sanderlin, 29; Joey Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva, 23; and DeEbony Groves, 21.
Evidence at Travis Reinking’s trial showed he suffered from schizophrenia and suffered from delusions for years, believing strangers tormented him. He contacted law enforcement several times to report that he was being threatened, stalked and harassed.
In July 2017, he was arrested by the Secret Service after venturing unarmed into a restricted area on the grounds of the White House and asking to meet then-President Donald Trump.