Profile of Death Row Inmate Brenda Andrew

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Rob Andrew - Victim. Family Photo

Brenda Andrew is currently on death row in Oklahoma for the shooting death of her husband, Robert Andrew. Prosecutors believe that Andrew and her lover plotted and killed her husband in order to collect on his life insurance policy.

The Childhood Years

Brenda Evers Andrew, born on December 10, 1963, grew up in a quiet home in Enid, Oklahoma. The Evers family were devout Christians who enjoyed gathering for family meals, holding group prayers and living a quiet life.

Brenda was a good student. Even as a child she always earned above average grades. As she got older, friends remembered her as being shy and quiet, and spending much of her spare time at church and helping others.

In junior high school, Brenda took up baton twirling and attended the local football games, but unlike her friends, when the games ended she would skip all the parties and go home.

Rob and Brenda Meet

Rob Andrew was at Oklahoma State University when he first met Brenda through his younger brother. Brend was a senior in high school when she became attracted to Rob. She pursued him and they began seeing each other. Almost immediately, they started dating each other exclusively.

After graduating from high school, Brenda attended college in Winfield, Kansas, but left a year later and moved to OSU in Stillwater so that she and Rob could be closer to one another.

Relocation

Rob and Brenda married on June 2, 1984.

They lived in Oklahoma City until Rob accepted a position in Texas and the couple relocated.

After a few years, Rob was anxious to return to Oklahoma, but Brenda was happy with their life in Texas. She had a job that she liked and had formed some solid friendships. Their marriage became strained when Rob informed her that he had accepted a job with an Oklahoma City ad agency.

Rob relocated back to Oklahoma City, but Brenda decided to stay in Texas. The two remained separated for a few months before Brenda decided to return to Oklahoma.

Stay-at-Home Mom

On December 23, 1990, the Andrews had their first child Tricity, and Brenda became a stay-at-home mom, leaving her job and work pals behind.

Four years later, their second child Parker was born, but by then Rob and Brenda's marriage was in trouble. Rob began confiding to his friends and pastor about his failing marriage. Friends later testified that Brenda was verbally abusive to Rob, often telling him that she hated him and that their marriage was a mistake.

By 1994, Brenda Andrew seemed to have gone through a transformation. The once conservative and shy woman had stopped wearing her shirts buttoned all the way to the top in exchange for a more provocative look that was usually too tight, too short and too revealing.

A Friend's Husband

In October 1997, Brenda began having an affair with Rick Nunley who was the husband of a friend she had worked with at an Oklahoma bank. According to Nunley, the affair lasted until the following spring, although the two continued to stay in contact through phone conversations.

The Guy at the Grocery Store

In 1999, James Higgins was married and working at a grocery store when he first met Brenda Andrew. Higgins later testified that Andrew would show up at the store in low-cut tops and short skirts and that they would flirt with each other.

One day, she handed Higgins a key to a hotel room and told him to meet her there. The affair continued until May 2001 after she told him, "it wasn't fun anymore."

The two continued being friends after the affair ended and Higgins was even hired to do house renovations for the Andrews.

The Sunday School Affair

The Andrews and James Pavatt became friends while attending the North Pointe Baptist Church. Brenda taught a Sunday school class as did Pavatt.

Pavatt became friends with Rob and spent time with the Andrews and their children at their home.

He was a Prudential Life insurance agent and in mid-2001 he assisted Rob with setting up a life insurance policy worth $800,000, naming Brenda as the sole beneficiary.

Around the same time, Brenda and Pavatt began having an affair. They did little to hide it, even while at church. As a result, they were told that they were no longer needed as Sunday school teachers.

By the following summer, Pavatt had divorced his wife, Suk Hui, and in the first week of October, Brenda filed for a divorce from Rob, who had already moved out of the couple's home.

Who Cut the Brake Line?

Once the divorce papers were filed Brenda became more vocal about her disdain for her estranged husband. She told friends that she hated Rob and wished that he was dead.

On October 26, 2001, someone severed the brake lines on Rob's car. The next morning, Pavatt and Brenda concocted a false "emergency," apparently in hopes that Rob would have a traffic accident.

According to Janna Larson, Pavatt's daughter, Pavatt persuaded her to call Rob Andrew from an untraceable phone and claim that Brenda was at a hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, and needed him immediately. An unknown male also called Rob that morning with the same news.

The plan failed. Rob had already discovered that his brake lines had been cut before receiving the calls. He met with the police and told them that he suspected that his wife and Pavatt were trying to kill him for insurance money.16-guage shotgun

The Insurance Policy

After the incident with his brake lines, Rob decided to make his brother the beneficiary of his life insurance policy instead of Brenda.

Pavatt found out and told Rob that he could not change the policy because Brenda owned it.

Rob then called Pavatt's supervisor who assured him that he was the owner of the policy. Rob told the supervisor that he thought Pavatt and his wife were trying to kill him. When Pavatt found out that Rob had spoken to his boss, he went into a rage and warned Rob not to try to get him fired from his job.

It was later discovered that Brenda and Pavatt had attempted to transfer ownership of the insurance policy to Brenda, without Rob Andrew's knowledge, by forging his signature and backdating it to March 2001.

Thanksgiving Holiday

On November 20, 2001, Rob Andrew went to pick up his children for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was his turn to be with the kids According to Brenda, she met Rob in the driveway and asked if he would come in and light the pilot on the furnace.

Prosecutors believe that when Rob bent down to light the furnace, Pavatt shot him one time, then handed Brenda the 16-guage shotgun. She took the second shot which ended 39-year-old Rob Andrew's life. Pavatt then shot Brenda in the arm with a .22-caliber handgun to help cover up the crime.

Two Masked Men

Brenda Andrew gave the police another version of the story. She told them that two armed, masked men dressed in black attacked Rob in the garage. She said they shot Rob, and then shot her in her arm as she ran away.

The Andrew's children were found in a bedroom watching television with the volume turned up very high. They had no idea what had happened.

Investigators also noted that it did not appear that they were packed up and ready and waiting to go spend the weekend with their father.

Brenda Andrew was taken to the hospital and treated for what was described as a superficial wound.

The Investigation

Investigators were told that Rob owned a 16-guage shotgun, but that Brenda had refused to let him have it when he moved out. They searched the Andrew home but did not find the shotgun.

A search of the Andrew's next door neighbor's home was performed when they found evidence that someone had entered their attic through an opening in a bedroom closet. A spent 16-gauge shotgun shell was found on the bedroom floor, and several .22-caliber bullets were found in the attic itself. There were no signs of forced entry into the home.

The neighbors had been out of town when the murder took place but left Brenda with a key to their house. The shotgun shell found in the neighbor's home was the same brand and gauge as a 16-gauge shell found in the Andrews' garage.

On the day of the murder, Pavatt's daughter Janna Larson had loaned her car to her father after he offered to have it serviced. When he returned it the morning after the murder, the car had not been serviced, but his daughter found a .22-caliber bullet on the floorboard. Pavatt told her to throw it away.

The .22 caliber round found in Janna Larson's car was the same brand as the three .22 caliber rounds found in the neighbor's attic.

Investigators also learned that Pavatt had purchased a handgun the week before the murder.

On the Run

Instead of attending Rob Andrew's funeral, Brenda, her two children and James Pavatt took off to Mexico. Pavatt called his daughter repeatedly from Mexico, asking her to send them money, unaware that she was cooperating with the FBI's investigation into the murder and of her father and Brenda.

In late February 2002, having run out of money, Pavatt and Andrew re-entered the United States and were promptly placed under arrest in Hidalgo, Texas.The following month the pair were extradited to Oklahoma City.

Trials and Sentencings

James Pavatt and Brenda Andrew were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. In separate trials, they were both found guilty and received death sentences.

Andrew Claims She is Innocent

Brenda Andrew has never shown remorse for her part in murdering her husband. She has always claimed that she is innocent. On the day that she was formerly sentenced, Andrew looked directly at Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Bragg and in a somewhat defiant voice she said that the verdict and sentence was an "egregious miscarriage of justice" and that she was going to fight until her name was vindicated. 

On June 21, 2007, Andrew's appeal was denied by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. In a vote 4-1, the judges rejected her appeal. Judge Charles Chapel agreed with Andrew's arguments that some of the testimony should not have been allowed during her trial. 

On April 15, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Andrew's appeal without comment. She was appealing the 2007 decision by Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals which upheld her conviction and sentencing.

Brenda Andrew is the only woman on death row in Oklahoma.