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Cumberland man accused of three murders found not competent to stand trial

March 18th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

The man accused of three homicides last September in Howard and Allegany counties was found incompetent to stand trial by an Allegany County Circuit Court judge this week, court records reflect. The Baltimore Sun reports that Allegany County Circuit Judge Michael O. Twigg signed an order Wednesday afternoon indicating Jeffrey Allen Burnham, 47, was incompetent to stand trial due to a mental disorder and committed him to the Maryland Department of Health. An annual review hearing will be held on Sept. 13, according to the document. In Allegany County, Burnham faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of motor vehicle theft in connection with the killing of Rebecca Reynolds, an 83-year-old woman found dead in her home with a deep laceration in her neck. Police say Reynolds was a friend of Burnham’s mother. Burnham is accused of then stealing Reynolds’ SUV, driving more than 100 miles away to Ellicott City and fatally shooting Brian and Kelly Robinette, Burnham’s half brother and his half brother’s wife. Charging documents suggest Burnham had made comments about wanting to confront his half brother for his role in administering coronavirus vaccines as a pharmacist. He was captured 18 hours later, following a police manhunt, in Davis, West Virginia, where he reportedly told a firefighter outside a local establishment that he had been “forced to kill three people.” Burnham faces additional criminal charges in Howard County in connection with the Robinette killings, including two counts of first-degree murder and one count of motor vehicle theft. He is scheduled for a separate competency hearing in Howard County on March 29, according to court records. Burnham’s lawyers in Allegany County requested last year the Maryland Department of Health evaluate his ability to stand trial. The Maryland Department of Health’s evaluation report is not publicly available, but a court website indicates it was filed on Feb. 8, ahead of a competency hearing held on Tuesday.

Burnham’s attorneys, Jessica Colwell and Michael Stankan from the Allegany County Public Defender’s Office, did not return a request for comment sent by email Thursday.

Burnham’s mother, Evelyn Burnham, had contacted Cumberland Police about her son “making statements about the FBI coming after” them and setting up a security system in his bedroom, according to charging documents.

Evelyn Burnham also told police that Jeffrey had expressed a need to confront Brian Robinette over his role administering COVID vaccines as a pharmacist.

According to police, Jeffrey told Evelyn he wanted to confront his half brother over the “government poisoning people with COVID vaccines.” Brian Robinette, 58, worked as a Walgreens pharmacist in Severna Park, his father previously told The Baltimore Sun.

Cumberland neighbors of Burnham said they watched Burnham devolve into a loner, including shouting at children playing in the street days before the three homicides.

Evelyn Burnham told The Baltimore Sun last year she was sorry, and that she’d lost two boys, a friend and a daughter-in-law.