Jeffrey Burnham, 46, of Cumberland, Maryland, went on a killing spree to stop his brother from administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
He’s accused of murdering Brian Robinette, a pharmacist, his sister-in-law, and an elderly woman from the community, so he could steal her car. Burnham’s mother says she’s been worried about her son’s mental health for some time as he came to embrace dangerous conspiracy theories related to the pandemic.
According to charging documents filed last Wednesday in court in Howard County, Burnham told his mother Evelyn Burnham that he had to confront his older brother, Brian Robinette, because he was poisoning people with the COVID-19 vaccine. He even told his mother, “Brian knows something.”
Prior to the alleged crime, Burnham told another unnamed person that his brother was “killing people with the COVID shot.”
Records show that Evelyn Burnham had been concerned about her son’s mental health beforehand. She called the Cumberland Police twice the week before because of her son’s “mental stability” after he made statements about the FBI “being after” them both.
Evelyn told the police that Burnham was living with her at the time of the alleged crime. He also kept a security system in his room to ward off unwanted intruders. She called the police again on Sept 30 when her son started talking about “Becky’s car”, referring to Rebecca Reynolds, 83, a family friend in the neighborhood.
Police later found Reynolds dead inside her home with a deep laceration across her throat and a pillow over her face. They say Burnham stole Reynolds’ Lincoln and drove it to Ellicott City so he could confront his brother; they later found evidence of a struggle inside Reynolds’ home, including a broken vase, cordless phone, and cane on the floor near where Reynolds was found.
A day later, Burnham’s brother Brian Robinette, 58, and his wife Kelly Sue Robinette, 57, were found dead in their apartment. Court documents show Reynold’s car was parked less than a half a mile from their home and the Robinettes’ 2007 red Corvette was missing.
Authorities later found Brian’s phone on the side of the highway. An EZ Pass connected to the Corvette later popped up on the map.
The same day, an unidentified tipster called the police and told them that Burnham returned to Cumberland in his brother’s Corvette. Burnham asked the man for gas and told him that “he would see him on TV,” the charging document said.
Burnham was finally arrested on Oct 1 in West Virginia after he flagged down a firefighter and told him he “had been forced to kill three people.”
He was then extradited back to Maryland where he is being held without bond. He is charged with one count of murder and a vehicle theft charge in Allegany County, according to online court records.
Burnham faces additional murder charges in Howard County. The prosecutor’s office declined to comment as it goes through the indictment process.
Records show his brother Brian Robinette graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Pharmacy in 1986.
Friends of the Robinettes have set up a GoFundMe page for the couple’s two children, who are young adults. So far, it has raised more than $115,000.
“Kelly’s infectious laugh and Brian’s dry sense of humor brightened our lives. They raised two amazing children in Howard County, and left their mark on our schools, teachers, fellow parents and now a new generation of young adults,” the page reads.