On Friday, December 28, George Brinkman Jr. was sentenced to death by a panel of three Cuyahoga County Judges for the murder of a North Royalton mother and her two daughters. The panel consisted of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judges Peter J. Corrigan, Michael Shaughnessy and Timothy McCormick. The three judges formally handed down the three separate death sentences. “On June 12, 2017, trust and familiarity turned into treachery, torture and unspeakable violence,” said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Saleh Awadallah.
Brinkman originally pleaded not guilty to the crimes, but changed his plea to guilty to the aggravated murder charges in the death of Suzanne Taylor, 45, who was found with her daughters Taylor Pifer, 21, and Kylie Pifer, 19 dead in their Ridge Road home last June.
The bodies of three females were found dead on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at 11489 Ridge Road, just north of Wallings Road. A 911 call came in at 7:58 p.m. Suzanne Taylor, 45, was found with her daughters, Taylor Pifer, 21, and Kylie Pifer, 19, in a bedroom, according to North Royalton Police. Brinkman, the 45-year-old North Canton man was charged with six counts of aggravated murder, three counts of kidnaping, one count of aggravated burglary and three counts of offenses against a human corpse for the North Royalton murders. He was also accused of the murder of Rogell Eugene John, 71, and wife Roberta Ray, 64, who were shot to death in their home in Lake Township that same weekend.
Brian Pifer, Father of Taylor and Kylie, addressed the court, stating, “for nearly a year-and-a-half now, I have been attending these pre-trial hearings, reading all the motions filed by the defendant, each arguing that he has specific rights: He has a right to representation; he has a right to postpone the trial so that his attorneys can be adequately prepared; he has a right to hire an expert witness to argue some form of mitigation; he has a right to not have anyone talk to him while he’s in prison in case he says something he shouldn’t say; we even had to hear how he needed a haircut. But today I’m asking you honorable judges to be the voices for the rights taken by Mr. George Brinkman, Jr. The right of Taylor to finish her last year at Kent State University; the right of Taylor to graduate and to get a job in the fashion industry that she was so passionate about; to get her first apartment, her first car, her first house; Taylor’s right to get married, to have children, to celebrate the holidays; her right to play another game of softball and sing in the car and go to concerts; Kylie’s right to become a forensic scientist that she always wanted to be; to finish her education at BGSU and to get her Masters that she had planned on; her right to go see theater again and see Phantom of the Opera, which was her favorite; to go shopping in Soho again; to get the New York City apartment that she always wanted; the right to make her artwork and send it to me in stages, asking for my feedback; the right to sing with her sister in the car and correct her on the lyrics to the songs; her right to get married and have children; and all of our rights to be part of those things . . . George Brinkman, Jr. took away from them the very right to breath.”
“The defendant took my family away from me and tore my heart out,” wrote Marcia Taylor, Mother of Suzanne in a statement to the court. “The manner in which they were killed was extremely violent. It hurts to know that two of the women possibly witnessed the other’s murder. . . What made him go from a friend to a cold blooded murderer? So many questions go unanswered. . . I’ll never, ever get over it.”
Brinkman’s execution was set for January 2020. He now faces a trial in Stark County in the killings of the Johns.
Contributing Writer