DeSantis signs Rex and Brody Act into law 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Rex and Brody Act has officially become law in Florida, following efforts spanning two legislative sessions and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signature on Thursday. 

The bill prevents access to autopsy photos and reports of minors killed through domestic violence, access previously allowed under Florida’s public records law. Unless a surviving parent not involved in the deaths gives permission, the records can be kept sealed under the new law.  

The bill remembers Rex and Brody Reinhart, Alachua County residents known well in the baseball community. The boys, aged 14 and 11, played in youth baseball leagues, and Brody regularly served as a bat boy for the Florida Gators. 

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In May 2021, the boys were killed by their father in a murder-suicide. Law enforcement checked on Paul Reinhart and the boys following disturbing texts and social media posts, but the three had left Gainesville for a vacation home in Dixie County.  

Minde Reinhart holds up photos of her deceased sons during a Florida Senate hearing this week.
Courtesy of Florida Channel Minde Reinhart holds up photos of her deceased sons during a Florida Senate session in May 2022.

When Dixie County officials arrived, the home was on fire, and all three were found dead at the location. 

The boys’ mother, Minde Reinhart—now Minde O’Sullivan after marrying UF baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan—celebrated the bill’s passage on Thursday. 

“Because of these sweet babies, the bill is now a law and has been signed by the governor, and it goes into effect immediately,” O’Sullivan said on Facebook. “We will meet with the governor soon to celebrate! I’m crying with emotion! I have fought so hard with so much help for 2 years!” 

During the 2022 session, O’Sullivan recalled the aftermath of her sons’ deaths during a committee hearing. O’Sullivan said she immediately stated that she didn’t want to know how her sons were killed and asked local media not to publish information from the autopsy report.  

However, when the report became public, information about the deaths spread. O’Sullivan told lawmakers she learned more than she had wanted just by stumbling on a local headline. (Editor’s note: Mainstreet Daily News made the editorial decision not to post the details of the autopsy report.)   

State Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, and state Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, filed the Rex and Brody Act. Speaking on the House floor, Clemons said the state has no compelling interest to keep the information public.  

“We can send a message to future families and guarantee them that they will never ever experience a piling on of heartache for the rest of their life because we will close this loophole,” Clemons said. “I’ll ask for your favorable support.”    

Minde O’Sullivan started the Rex and Brody Foundation in 2022, sponsoring local baseball teams. This weekend, the second USSSA Rex and Brody Tournament will begin across three locations—Champions Park in Newberry, Jonesville Park in Gainesville and Southside Sports Complex in Lake City. 

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Honestly, I say this goes not far enough. I still am haunted by one of the local stations in Florida who like, 2-3 years ago, published exactly how someone I loved died, way more info than anyone wants. The media need to learn to respect people