Maryland man charged in 3 killings found incompetent to stand trial

The Maryland man charged with killing his brother, sister-in-law and an elderly friend of his mother before going on the run last fall was found incompetent to stand trial in Howard County on Tuesday.

Jeffrey Allen Burnham, 47, who was committed to the care of the Maryland Department of Health, was also found incompetent to stand trial earlier this month in Allegany County, where one of the killings took place.

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday that neither prosecutors, nor Burnham’s defense attorney, challenged the evaluation. A Howard County judge ordered Burnham to be committed to the health department until he is competent to stand trial, or there is no indication he will become competent to stand trial.

Police charging documents said Burnham was apparently motivated by anti-COVID vaccine conspiracy theories when he allegedly shot and killed his brother Brian Robinette, 58, and sister-in-law Kelly Sue Robinette, 57, in their Ellicott City house on Sept. 30.

In charging documents, police said Burnham told his mother he wanted to confront his brother, who worked as a pharmacist, “about the government poisoning people with COVID vaccines.”

A day earlier, on Sept. 29, police said Burnham killed 83-year-old Rebecca Reynolds, a friend of his mother’s, in her Cumberland home and stole her car to drive to his brother’s house.

Burnham was arrested Oct. 1 in West Virginia and charged with counts of first and second-degree murder for each victim, as well as weapons charges.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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