Spree killer George Brinkman sentenced to death again for triple murder
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A confessed killer has been sentenced to death for the second time.
Spree killer George Brinkman will head back to death row for the murders of a mom and her two daughters.
It’s finally over in the courtroom for the families of the victims, who have suffered for nearly six years since their deaths.
42-year-old Suzanne Taylor and her daughters Taylor, 21, and Kylie Pifer, 18, were found brutally murdered inside their North Royalton home in June of 2017.
The evidence led police to a family friend, George Brinkman, who confessed to the crimes.
The victims’ family members had to endure a second trial after months of delays during the pandemic.
The Ohio Supreme Court threw out Brinkman’s first conviction and death sentence after a mistake by a trial judge in 2021.
Court hearings started up again in 2022.
Brinkman pleaded guilty a second time to the triple murders.
Six months ago, a three-judge panel found Brinkman guilty for their killings, after hearing many of the witnesses testify all over again.
The penalty phase lasted several days over May.
Brinkman made a statement at one point, not under oath, addressing the family members of the victims directly.
“I committed the murders,” he said.
“To the family and friends, I’m sorry. They didn’t deserve what I did. I took away the opportunity to watch them grow, get old, have families, be successful in their careers, have children. I took it all from you. And I know sorry will never be enough,” Brinkman said.
This time, the defense team argued Brinkman’s diabetes and other health conditions, along with his prescription drugs affected his behavior at the time of the murders.
As a part of the mitigation phase, the defense also presented a look at Brinkman’s childhood trauma to the judges, in hopes of keeping him off death row.
But the judges on the panel did not agree those mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors presented by prosecutors.
Family members read victim impact statements to the judges before the sentencing verdict came down, including Taylor and Kylie’s dad Brian Pifer.
“My girls were my everything. Nearly six years and two trials later, I am still lost, trying to find my way. Life doesn’t make sense anymore,” he said, through tears.
He held up framed pictures of his daughters for the judges, as he spoke about each one.
“I am angry,” he said. “Angry that George Brinkman took them from me, from everyone, from the world.”
We spoke with Ken Taylor, Suzanne’s brother and Taylor and Kylie’s uncle, after sentencing.
“I’m very, very happy. George Brinkman got exactly what he deserves, just like the first time,” Taylor said.
“It never goes away. I think about them when I wake up in the morning, I think about them when I go to bed,” he said.
Brinkman is already on death row after a separate trial for killing a Stark County couple during his two-day crime spree.
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