A man who shot and killed four people in a Nashville Waffle House in 2018 had written Oprah Winfrey asking for help in determining whether his delusions that Taylor Swift was communicating with him through the Internet were real or not, according to testimony on Wednesday, Feb 2nd.
Metro Nashville Police Detective Desmond Sumerel testified that the letter to Winfrey and another to the pop star Swift were found in a safe that was recovered from Travis Reinking’s apartment. The letter to Winfrey had been returned to sender in 2017. The letter to Swift was not in an envelope.
Travis Reinking is charged with four counts of first degree murder, along with other attempted murder and weapons charges stemming from the attack. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 33-year-old defendant. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
According to Billboard, Reinking recounted to Winfrey attending a concert where he believed that Swift mouthed “Hello” to him during a song, according to the letter that Sumerel read. After that, he wrote that he “started to notice that things I was saying were getting repeated back to me on the Internet.” Reinking also mentioned having a dream in which Swift loses her balance and then seeing a movie on Netflix where the lead female character asks a man to help her keep her balance, according to the letter.
Sumerel was the lead detective on the case and testified that he had not remembered the letters or considered them important to his job of proving that Reinking was the person who shot and killed Taurean Sanderlin, 29; Joe Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva, 23; and DeEbony Groves, 21, on April 22, 2018. Also seriously injured in the shooting were Sharita Henderson and Shantia Waggoner. Kayla Shaw and James Shaw Jr., who are not related, suffered lesser injuries.
Defense attorneys do not dispute the basic facts of the case. Reinking was naked save for a green jacket when he opened fire inside the restaurant just after 3:20 a.m. on a Sunday. He fled, triggering a manhunt, after restaurant patron James Shaw Jr. wrestled his assault-style rifle away from him.
Jerrett Franklin grew up in a small town, he moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. After writing for a few different artists in the area, he decided to branch out and give local music the spotlight. That is where the idea for Music On The Rox originated from. We are dedicated to shining a light on local music and giving a voice to those who aren’t being heard.