News 2 learned Monday that Travis Reinking was indicted on 17 counts by a grand jury, including murder. Now that the criminal case is moving forward, it is possible the lawsuits filed against him and his father could move forward, too.
Reinking and his dad are being sued by family members of the Waffle House shooting victims.
Two judges have ruled that Travis Reinking cannot give a deposition, or testify, in his civil case because of the criminal case against him. It is possible that he will be required to testify as the criminal case against him moves forward.
“I would guess that this judge doesn’t want to interfere with the criminal proceedings,” said Vanderbilt Law Professor Suzanna Sherry. “Whether to allow deposition in these circumstances is up to the discretion of the judge. He may not want to create some piece of evidence that then the prosecutor might want to use or the defendant might want to use in the criminal case; doesn’t want to get in the way of the criminal proceedings.”
Family members of Waffle House shooting victim Akilah DaSilva are suing Jeffrey and Travis Reinking for at least $100 million in Davidson County Circuit Court.
DaSilva’s brother is suing Jeffrey Reinking in federal court in Tennessee.
The family of victim Joe Perez is suing Jeffrey Reinking in Tazewell County, Illinois, where Reinking lives and where he kept the guns his son had to relinquish.
The lawsuits mainly focus on Jeffrey Reinking, who gave several guns back to his son after Travis reportedly had several psychotic and semi-violent episodes. One of those weapons was later used in the Waffle House shooting.
Attorneys for Jeffrey Reinking have argued that he cannot be sued in Tennessee but should instead be sued in Tazewell County.
However, Reinking was visiting his son in a Davidson County jail Friday and was served with a summons, which changes a lot.
“If you serve someone with a summons while they are in the state then the state automatically has jurisdiction over them,” said Sherry. “Jeffrey Reinking’s argument, which I think is pretty good, is that he has no connection to Tennessee. He doesn’t live here, he didn’t do anything here, his son brought the guns here.”
A new hearing date has not yet been scheduled. Attorneys for Reinking have also filed motions to dismiss.
Attorney Daniel Horwitz sent the following statement to News 2:
The DaSilva family appreciates Sheriff Daron Hall and his team for their help ensuring that Jeffrey Reinking was personally served with process during his last visit to Davidson County. We look forward to taking discovery and trying this case here in Nashville as soon as possible.
Catch up on stories about the Waffle House shooting: