ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Court records suggest medical misinformation might have been the motive behind last week’s double murder in Howard County.

Jeffrey Burnham of Cumberland is charged in the murders of his brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Kelly Robinette, who were found shot to death Sept. 30 inside the couple’s Ellicott City home.

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According to Howard County police, Burnham traveled to his relatives’ home after killing another individual, 83-year-old Rebecca Reynolds, in Allegany County.

Charging documents obtained by WJZ show Burnham’s mother told investigators her son had expressed a desire to confront his brother, a pharmacist, about administering COVID-19 vaccines.

“He wanted to confront Brian about the government poisoning people with COVID vaccines,” Burnham’s mother told police. “He repeatedly stated, ‘Brian knows something!'”

The Robinettes’ murders could have been prevented, according to Anjali Kataria, chief executive officer for Mytonomy, a Bethesda-based medical education company.

“There are accurate sources of information and we weren’t able to get them to this individual,” Kataria told WJZ. “It’s a real tragedy.”

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She said the most effective way to stamp out medical misinformation is to steer people away from unverified information found online and toward real medical authorities: doctors and public health experts.

While some side effects have been reported among vaccine recipients, those instances have been rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which deems the shots both “safe and effective.”

“It’s a staggering fact because the science behind the vaccine is so good,” Kataria said. “We know that it works.”

A day after the Robinettes were found dead, Burnham was taken into custody in West Virginia, where he was found with the couple’s Corvette. Police said a gun was recovered from the car.

The 46-year-old was extradited to Maryland this week, where he faces first-degree murder charges in the deaths of the Robinettes and Reynolds.

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He’s being held without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center.

Paul Gessler