TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WKRN) - The father of Waffle House shooting suspect is now facing criminal charges in his home state of Illinois.
According to court documents obtained by News 2, Jeffrey Reinking was charged with unlawful transfer of a firearm by authorities in Tazewell County, Illinois. The charge is a Class 4 Felony in the state.
"Between the 12th and 30th day of November 2017, [Jeffrey Reinking] knowingly gave a firearm, a Bushmaster AR-15 to Travis Reinking, who had been a patient at Methodist Medical Center of Illinois Mental Health Unit within the past five years," in violation of an Illinois state law, explains Ill. State Attorney Stewart J. Umholtz.
Back in December, News 2 obtained transcripts of deposition between the attorneys for one of the Antioch Waffle House shooting victims and the accused gunman’s father.
In the documents, Jeffrey Reinking is asked about guns that belonged to his son, Travis.
According to the transcript, Jeffrey Reinking confirmed that in August 2017, police in Tazewell County, Illinois, advised him to keep the guns “away from Travis” after an incident allegedly involving his son and federal authorities.
A few months later, in October or November, Jeffrey Reinking said he received a text from his son stating he had found an out-of-state apartment and wanted his guns back.
"Mass shootings have raised public awareness regarding the need to keep firearms out of the hands of persons afflicted with mental illness," Umholtz wrote. "There is a good reason why our legislature has chosen to make this a criminal offense."
Jeffrey Reinking was released Thursday on $5,000 bond. If convicted, he could be sentenced to probation or between one and three years in jail, and up to a $25,000 fine.
Reinking's attorney Joel Brown released the following statement to News 2:
"Jeff Reinking has not committed a criminal offense. He has been charged under an Illinois statute that prohibits the sale or gift of firearms to someone who has been in a mental institution. But Jeff didn't sell or gift Travis the guns.
The district attorney wants to pound a round peg into a square hole because of the terrible events that happened months after Travis's weapons were returned to him. Returning Travis's guns to Travis is not a criminal offense and we will fight it in court."
This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 for updates.
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