CLEVELAND – A three-judge panel ruled Nov. 26 George Brinkman Jr., who killed his friend and her two young adult daughters in their North Royalton home in June 2017, should receive the death penalty.

This ruling came at the end of the mitigation phase, a sort of mini-trial where witnesses are called; the goal is to determine whether the aggravating factors, factors in favor of the death penalty, are greater than the mitigating factors.

The judges, who included Peter Corrigan, Tim McCormick and Michael Shaughnessy, ruled the aggravating factors were greater, meaning a death sentence is recommended.

Brinkman will be formally sentenced by the judges Dec. 28 at 10 a.m., a hearing that will likely include statements from the victims’ family. He waived his right to a jury trial; because it is a death penalty case, three judges were assigned instead of one.

Brinkman, 46, previously pleaded guilty to 13 counts altogether, including six counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated burglary, three counts of kidnapping and three counts of abuse against a corpse.

Brinkman killed Suzanne Taylor, 45, and her daughters, 21-year-old Taylor Pifer and 18-year-old Kylie Pifer, in their Ridge Road home June 10, 2017. Brinkman is also accused of killing Rogell Eugene John II, 71, and Roberta Ray John, 64, who were found shot in their Stark County home the evening of June 12.

Brinkman was reportedly an old childhood friend of Taylor and was a house sitter for the John family who knew their daughter.

He surrendered after an overnight standoff with police at a Brunswick residence on June 13, 2017. A SWAT team officer allegedly used a Taser to take Brinkman into custody after they entered the residence.

Brinkman reportedly confessed to police and allegedly wrote letters both admitting his guilt and expressing remorse for the deaths, court records show.

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