COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – The death sentence of a man convicted in the murder of three people has been vacated after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled there was a procedural error in the case.
The high court found the trial judge failed to advise George C. Brinkman at the time he pleaded guilty that he was waiving his rights to confront witnesses and have his guilt proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Ohio Supreme Court vacated Brinkman’s conviction and death sentence.
Brinkman was convicted of killing a North Royalton woman and her two daughters in 2017.
The vote was unanimous among the judges that the trial court failed to advise Brinkman of his constitutional rights and that failing to follow the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure invalidated the guilty plea, the judges wrote.
Writing for the Court, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor expressed disappointment in the trial court, prosecutors and Brinkman’s lawyers for failing “to adhere to the level of diligence expected in, and essential to, our criminal justice system.”
Brinkman’s case has been remanded to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court for new proceedings.