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Man accused of Killing pharmacist brother in rampage ruled incompetent to stand trial

<i>WJZ</i><br/>Jeffrey Burnham is incompetent to stand trial
Jeffrey Burnham is incompetent to stand trial

By WJZ Staff

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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Howard County judge has found Jeffrey Burnham—the 47-year-old Cumberland man accused of killing his brother, sister-in-law, and an elderly family friend—incompetent to stand trial.

Burnham is charged with murdering Brian Robinette, 58, and his wife, Kelly Robinette, 57, at their Ellicott City home on Sept. 30, 2021.

Both victims had been found with gunshot wounds. Howard County Police Department tactical officers found multiple spent .40 caliber shell casings throughout the residence.

Burnham’s mother, Evelyn, told authorities that Jeffrey wanted to confront his pharmacist brother about the COVID-19 vaccine, believing the government was using the shot to poison people.

Prior to the double shooting, Burnham allegedly killed 83-year-old Rebecca Reynolds in a Cumberland home.

At the time that her body was discovered, her red Corvette was missing.

During the two-day killing spree, a tipster contacted Maryland State Police and said Burnham appeared at their house in a red Corvette around 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2021, asking for gas money.

Burnham told the person they would see him on TV and said his brother was “killing people with the COVID shot.”

Authorities finally found and arrested him in West Virginia.

Howard County Judge Lenore Gelman’s finding on Burnham’s mental health was based on a very lengthy opinion/assessment by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a Howard County official said.

But Burnham’s competency is believed to be “restorable,” according to authorities.

“What that means is through rehabilitative efforts, he can be made competent to stand trial,” a Howard County official said. “He will be reassessed in a year to see if treatments have progressed to the point where he can stand trial. We want to make it clear that the case itself is not over nor has it been concluded.”


7:20 p.m. Sept. 29: Rebecca Reynolds, 83, is found dead inside a Fourth Street home in Cumberland by authorities with the Cumberland Police Department and Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. The death of Reynolds, who had signs of “obvious trauma,” is ruled a homicide by a medical examiner. Her vehicle had also been stolen. Burnham is identified as a suspect and a warrant is issued for his arrest on murder and vehicle theft charges. 4:30 p.m. Sept. 30: The Allegany County Sheriff’s Office issues a statement naming Burnham as the suspect in Reynolds’ killing. Describing the 46-year-old as “armed and dangerous,” the agency says investigators believe Burnham may be driving a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette with the Maryland tag 8BX5121. Police ask the public to keep an eye out for Burnham or the Corvette, asking them to call police if he or the vehicle is seen. 5:18 p.m. Sept. 30: Police in Howard County notify the public that Burnham is wanted in a deadly double shooting at a home in Ellicott City, as well as an “unrelated homicide” in Allegany County. Police say they suspect all three victims were targeted, adding that the Ellicott City victims are believed to be family members of Burnham’s. The public is asked to call 911 if they see Burnham or a 2007 red Chevrolet Corvette. 10:07 p.m. Sept. 30: Investigators announce they’ve identified the Ellicott City shooting victims as Burnham’s brother and sister-in-law — 58-year-old Brian Robinette and his wife, Kelly Sue. Police offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information on the whereabouts of Burnham. 9:07 a.m. Oct. 1: Burnham and the Robinettes’ Corvette is spotted in Davis, West Virginia. Police there take the 46-year-old into custody on charges of murder in the deaths of the Robinettes and recover a firearm from the vehicle. Burnham is booked into jail there while awaiting an extradition hearing.

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