george brinkman
george brinkman

George Brinkman was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for five murders. According to court documents George Brinkman would go to the first home where he would murder Suzanne Taylor and her two daughters, twenty-one-year-old Taylor Pifer and eighteen-year-old Kylie Pifer. George Brinkman would then travel to the next home where he would murder seventy-one-year-old Rogell “Gene” John and his sixty-four-year-old wife Roberta “Bobbi” John. Brinkman, George Brinkman would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.

Ohio Death Row Inmate List

George Brinkman 2021 Information

Number A764906

DOB 01/28/1972

Gender Male Race White

Admission Date 10/21/2019

Institution Chillicothe Correctional Institution


George Brinkman Other News

George Brinkman argued for his own death sentence Wednesday, telling a panel of three judges he deserves the harshest of punishments.

Stepping to the witness stand, the 47-year-old Stark County man apologized for murdering Roberta (Bobbi) and Rogell (Gene) John in June 2017. Brinkman said he wasn’t making excuses for taking their lives.

“They were extremely kind, caring and wonderful and people who did not deserve to be killed by me,” he said. ”… I’m so very sorry for the all the pain and suffering I have caused the families and friends of Gene and Bobbi. I know that will never be enough but it’s all I have.”

Brinkman argued against the mitigating circumstances in his own case. “Yes, I had a horrible childhood … yes, I’ve had a lot of bad things happen to me in my life, so what? Other (people have) had it worse and never went around killing people they care about.”

His remarks came a day after his defense attorneys told the court Brinkman suffers from a traumatic childhood, depression, mental health problems, alcohol abuse and other issues.

In closing remarks Wednesday afternoon, Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Dennis Barr quoted the defendant in making his final argument for why Brinkman should be given a death sentence.

“In the words of George Brinkman,” Barr said, “anything less than a sentence of death would not be justice in this case.”

But that is only one of many factors being considered by Stark County Common Pleas Judges Chryssa Hartnett, Taryn Heath and Kristin Farmer.

The panel also could sentence him to life in prison with no chance for parole for 25 or 30 years or a life term without the possibility of parole.

The judges deliberated for about three hours Wednesday afternoon but couldn’t reach a verdict on Brinkman’s fate. The panel will resume deliberations 8 a.m. Thursday.

Following a trial Tuesday, the panel found Brinkman guilty of two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and single counts of aggravated burglary and tampering with evidence.

Brinkman had pleaded guilty to all charges but a trial was still required under the law because it’s a death penalty case.

Regardless of what the judicial trio decides, Brinkman has already been convicted and sentenced to death for slaying three people in Cuyahoga County the same day he killed the Johns, a Lake Township couple known for their kindness and generosity in helping others.

Gene John, 71, was a Vietnam War veteran who worked in the circulation departments of The Canton Repository and The Massillon Independent for years before he started a business distributing telephone books and publications in the region.

Bobbi John, 64, was retired from special education. She had worked both as a teacher and administrator in a career that included stops at the Louisville and Alliance school districts.

Brinkman had known the couple for more than 10 years and watched their home and 17-year-old dog while they were on vacation before the murders on June 11, 2017.

During an interview with a Stark County Sheriff’s Office investigator, Brinkman said that after they arrived at their Mount Pleasant Street NW home, Bobbi told him she was unhappy with how he had cared for their dog, which was deaf and blind. He said that led to an argument.

Brinkman picked up Gene’s .45-caliber handgun, which the defendant had gotten out of storage earlier, prosecutors said. Brinkman ordered the couple to an upstairs bedroom, where they locked the door, Barr said in closing arguments. The defendant fired the gun at the doorknob to gain access, the assistant prosecutor said.

He shot Gene three times and Bobbi twice, also fracturing her skull with blows to the head, Barr said, arguing the crimes were not impulsive.

Making a case for the aggravating circumstances of the murders, Barr said in closing arguments that Brinkman killed the couple and stole $40 from Gene’s wallet and $100 from Bobbi’s purse because he needed money to flee the state. Barr cited the defendant’s own words from his interview with the sheriff’s investigator.

“This was a planned act,” he said. “Not a reaction to getting yelled at by Bobbi, not a reaction to getting yelled at by Gene (for getting his gun out), but a plan he thought of before they got home — it was a plan he carried out.”

During her turn at closing arguments, Stark County Public Defender Tammi Johnson said her client had power-washed the deck, mowed the yard and ordered a pizza before the Johns got home from vacation. She said he could have stolen items but didn’t.

“Those are not the actions of someone who has this plan to rob and kill these people,” Johnson said.

Referencing her client’s earlier statement asking for the death penalty, the public defender said the facts of the case and law do not warrant it.

Dr. Bob Stinson, a forensic psychologist, testified for the defense Wednesday regarding the defendant’s traumatic childhood, substance abuse problems and suicidal thoughts.

Stinson said he based his opinions on a review of court records, interviews with Brinkman, listening to Brinkman’s interview with law enforcement, talking with others and research.

Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Fred Scott said during cross-examination that most of Stinson’s opinions were based on Brinkman’s “self-reporting” and not corroborated by others.

Johnson argued that not all of the doctor’s opinions and findings were based on the defendant’s own words, including an unstable and volatile home as a child.

She also said “the state wants you to decide George is the worst of the worst” in seeking the death penalty.

She said Brinkman has taken responsibility for his actions and has behaved well in jail. “Is that the worst of the worst?” she asked rhetorically.

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