Father of ‘Waffle house’ shooter Travis Reinking sentenced to 18 months in prison

The start of his sentence is delayed 90 days while his attorney considers appeals
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 4:49 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PEKIN (25 News Now) - Jeffrey Reinking was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for providing the deadly rifle used in the 2018 Waffle House shooting.

The start of Reinking’s sentence has been delayed 90 days, while he and his attorney start an appeals process.

Reinking barely moved as Judge Christ Doscotch passed down his sentence. A packed gallery of friends and family offered a mix of shock and sadness. Also among the gallery were the family of the four victims killed by Travis.

Jeffrey Reinking was found guilty of knowingly giving a weapon to his son who was struggling with psychotic mental illness last year. His defense adamantly argued throughout the case Jeff was unaware of his son’s struggles with mental illness.

In his address to Jeff, Doscotch said he didn’t find that testimony credible, citing multiple instances where Travis showed signs of severe paranoia that his father would have been aware of or present for, at one point believing Taylor Swift was hacking his email and phone. Before the Waffle House shooting, Illinois State Police revoked his Firearm Owner Identification Card, not for any threat of mental illness, but rather because he was no longer a resident of the state.

“There’s blame to go around,” Doscotch said. “Nobody knows Travis Reinking better than Jeff Reinking.”

Travis shot and killed four people in a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee in 2018, using a bushmaster rifle, returned to him by his father.

“You are not being sentenced today for the conduct of your son. You are being sentenced for your conduct, which was a part of the chain of events that resulted in the Bushmaster rifle being used to kill four people and harming so many others physically and emotionally,” said Doscotch.

Reinking’s 18-month sentence can be served on a day-for-day basis, meaning he may only serve nine months in prison. His defense attorney asked for conditional release or probation, saying strong punishment was unnecessary. Doscotch contended that it is necessary to prevent or deter others from committing similar actions.