Feb 3, 2022 - News

Contentious testimony in third day of Waffle House shooting trial

Travis Reinking in court yesterday.

Travis Reinking in court yesterday. Photo: Stephanie Amador/The Tennessean/USA Today Network

The third day of the Waffle House shooting trial featured several intense debates over Travis Reinking's mental health.

  • The prosecution rested its case. The defense started by questioning a psychologist who had evaluated Reinking, 33, after the shooting that killed four people.

Why it matters: Reinking's mindset that day is the central question the jury must consider, since both sides agree he was the shooter.

  • Reinking pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, which requires his lawyers to prove he had a mental illness so severe that it kept him from understanding the shooting was wrong.

What she said: Psychologist Mary Elizabeth Wood, who evaluated Reinking after the shooting, said she thought he "did not appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions that night."

  • Prosecutors have tried to poke holes in that assertion. They questioned police about his calm demeanor after the shooting and pointed out that Reinking ran from the scene and tried to evade police.

Meanwhile: Earlier in the day, the detective who investigated the case testified about letters Reinking wrote to Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey.

  • Reinking's defense team argues he imagined a relationship with Swift. They have framed that as evidence of delusions that were the result of severe schizophrenia.

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