HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The laws are slightly different when it comes to being charged with murder in other states. In Tennessee, you have different degrees of homicide, but in Alabama, if you kill two or more people the initial charge would be capital murder.
29-year-old Travis Reinking is accused of killing four innocent people at a Waffle House right outside of Nashville in Antioch. He was charged with four counts of criminal homicide.
"In Alabama, you have capital murder, murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. In Tennessee, you got under criminal homicide you have first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and vehicular homicide," Attorney Mark McDaniel explained.
Reinking was given a $2,000,000 bond, initially. "If you are charged with criminal homicide, if it's a non-capital case you have a right to bond," McDaniel explained.
McDaniel said if Reinking was able to afford to get out he wouldn`t have been released. "If somebody comes in and puts $200,000 up, which is 10 percent, to bond him out as soon as he did the prosecutor is going to go before another judge and get a higher bond," McDaniel said.
McDaniel said the investigator decides the initial charge, which was why Reinking was charged with criminal homicide. "They may have thought charge him with criminal homicide. Then let the prosecutors look at it and see whether they want first-degree murder or second-degree murder," McDaniel said.
Reinking`s arrest has drawn comparisons to Emanuel Samson. Samson is accused of killing a woman and injuring several others at a church in the same area where the Waffle House shooting took place at.
At the time of Samson's arrest, he was initially charged with felony homicide and no bond. McDaniel said Samson could have received bond, but that was a decision the Tennessee judge had to decide.
A judge has since revoked Reinking's bond. "In killing one person or killing four people, I'll just say that in Alabama that the person would be automatically charged with capital murder," McDaniel said.
McDaniel said in his professional opinion, if Reinking is found guilty of killing four people he will either receive the death penalty, a life sentence, or a life sentence without parole.
A jury will ultimately decide.