PEKIN — The father of Travis Reinking pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge related to the weapon his son allegedly used to kill four people in Tennessee last year.
Jeffrey Reinking, 55, of rural Morton, entered the plea during his Tazewell County Circuit Court arraignment to a charge of unlawful delivery of a firearm. He's remained free on bond since the charge was filed in March.
The elder Reinking also is a defendant in multiple civil suits filed by relatives of victims and others after Travis Reinking, 30, allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 style rifle in a Nashville Waffle House on April 22, 2018. The shooting left four dead and four wounded.
Jeffrey Reinking gave the rifle and several other firearms to his son in November 2017, aware that Travis Reinking had recently been a patient at the Methodist Medical Center of Illinois Mental Health Unit, the charge alleges. Illinois law prohibits giving or selling a firearm to someone who has been a mental health facility patient within five years of the transaction.
The weapons were taken from the younger Reinking in mid-2017 when his Illinois firearm owner’s identification card was revoked because he had moved to Colorado and no longer was a state citizen. The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department placed them in Jeffrey Reinking’s care.
His son requested their return when he moved to Tennessee. Jeffrey Reinking’s attorney said when Jeffrey Reinking was charged that the state weapons transference law doesn’t apply to his client and that Tennessee does not require a firearm owner’s identification card.
Reinking faces up to three years in prison if convicted of the weapons charge. He’s next due in court on June 3.
One of the families suing Jeffrey Reinking has settled its lawsuit with him over claims he bears responsibility for returning guns to his son.
The Tennessean reports the family of Akilah DaSilva, who was one of the four people killed in the shooting, have reached a settlement in the portion of their $20 million lawsuit affecting Jeffrey Reinking. The settlement amount is unknown. It's one of several civil suits by family members against Jeffrey Reinking.
Some of DaSilva's family members also have a suit pending against Travis Reinking, who remains in custody pending prosecution on four counts of murder and other charges.