Documents: Suspect in Md. murders was driven to confront brother over COVID-19 vaccines

The man who allegedly killed his brother and sister-in-law last month in Ellicott City, Maryland, thought his brother, a pharmacist, was poisoning people by administering COVID-19 vaccines, charging documents say.

Jeffrey Allen Burnham, 46, of Cumberland, was arrested in West Virginia last week in the deaths of his brother, Brian Robinette, 58, and Kelly Sue Robinette, 57, in their house Sept. 30. He’s been charged with two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, as well as weapons charges.

The Howard County police said he’ll also be charged in the death of Rebecca Reynolds, 83, a friend of his mother’s, in Allegany County. He allegedly took her car, the documents said.

Burnham’s mother told the Cumberland police that he had been telling her the FBI was coming after him.

She told Allegany County investigators that Burnham needed to “confront Brian based on his profession and him administering COVID vaccines,” the documents said. “Jeffrey stated to [his mother] that he wanted to confront Brian about the government poisoning people with COVID vaccines and … he repeatedly said ‘Brian knows something!’”

The documents said Reynolds’ car was found near the Robinettes’ house, and their car was gone. They were found dead in the house, shot by a .40-caliber handgun. An empty box for such a gun was found in Burnham’s house, and Burnham was in his brother’s car when he was arrested.

A tipster told the Maryland State Police that Burnham pulled up to his house that afternoon, asked for gas and told them that his brother was “killing people with the COVID shot,” the documents said.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Burnham flagged down a firefighter in Davis, West Virginia, and said he “had been forced to kill three people.”

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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