Attorney asks judge to waive Waffle House shooting suspect’s court appearance

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The man accused of killing four people inside an Antioch Waffle House in April 2018 was expected to appear in court Thursday morning.

Travis Reinking’s attorney asked the judge to wave the defendant’s appearance, and the judge granted that motion.

This case has been moving very slowly to trial, in part due to the delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An attorney representing Taurean Sanderlin, one of the victims in the shooting, spoke in court Thursday morning, making a motion to modify or even lift the gag order. Sanderling is pursuing a civil case against Waffle House and a lot of the evidence remains hidden under the order. An attorney recently asked for access to the docket that would normally be considered public record.

The judge agreed to modify the gag order, although the terms are still to be determined.

It was in the early morning hours of April 22, 2018 when a man, identified as Reinking, pulled up to the Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike armed with an AR-15 and began shooting.

He was partially naked, wearing only a green jacket. He shot two people outside the restaurant and then two more inside before an unarmed man rushed the shooter and wrestled the weapon away from him.

Reinking is set to appear before a judge in Davidson County after mental health issues put his trial on hold while he was being treated for schizophrenia. He was later deemed him fit for trial and he was indicted on 17 counts, including murder.

Reinking pleaded not guilty in February 2019.

Travis Reinking in police car_1524509794600.jpg.jpg

A judge later ruled Reinking was fit for trial but for the families of the victims, the delay has been agonizing.

“It’s frustrating, you know? Just to have it be way longer than we anticipated it to be, you know, because of COVID and just slowing down so it’s just frustrating, just to have to wait and know that we still haven’t got justice yet and still have to deal with that. Yeah, very frustrating,” explained Abede Dasilva, brother of victim Akilah Dasilva.

waffle house shooting victims

Four people were killed — DeEbony Groves, 21, Akilah Dasilva, 23, Taurean Sanderlin, 29, and Joe Perez, 20. Four others were injured, including James Shaw, who wrestled the gun away from Reinking.

Prosecutors are seeking life in prison without parole. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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