Profile of Death Row Inmate Brenda Andrew

A Mug Shot of Brenda Andrew
Mug Shot

Brenda Evers Andrew is on death row in Oklahoma for the murder of her husband, Robert Andrew. Brenda Andrew and her lover killed her husband to collect on his life insurance policy after she had tired of the marriage and had several affairs.

The Childhood Years

Brenda Evers, born on Dec. 16, 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, always earning above-average grades. As she got older, friends remembered her as shy and quiet, spending much of her spare time at church and helping others.

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

Rob and Brenda Meet

Rob Andrew was at Oklahoma State University when he met Brenda, then a high school senior, through his younger brother. They began seeing each other and almost immediately started dating 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. They married on June 2, 1984. They lived in Oklahoma City until Rob accepted a position in Texas and they relocated.

After a few years, Rob wanted to return to Oklahoma, but Brenda was happy with their life in Texas. She had a job that she liked and had formed solid friendships. Their marriage became strained when Rob informed her that he had accepted a job with an Oklahoma City ad agency. Rob returned to Oklahoma City, but Brenda decided to stay in Texas. They remained separated for a few months before Brenda decided to move to Oklahoma.

Stay-at-Home Mom

On Dec. 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 seemed to have gone through a transformation. The once shy, conservative woman had stopped wearing her shirts buttoned to the neck in exchange for a more provocative look that was usually tight, short, and revealing.

A Friend's Husband

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

The Guy at the Grocery Store

In 1999, James Higgins, married and working at a grocery store, met Brenda. He later testified that Brenda showed up at the store in low-cut tops and short skirts and they flirted 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, when she told him, "it wasn't fun anymore." They remained friends, and Higgins was hired to do house renovations for the Andrews.

The Sunday School Affair

The Andrews and James Pavatt met while attending the North Pointe Baptist Church, where Brenda and Pavatt taught Sunday school classes. Pavatt became friends with Rob and spent time with the Andrews and their children at their home.

He was a life insurance agent, and in mid-2001 he helped Rob set 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, and were told that they were no longer needed as Sunday school teachers.

By the following summer, Pavatt had divorced his wife, Suk Hui. In October Brenda filed for divorce from Rob, who had already moved out of their home.

Who Cut the Brake Lines?

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 Oct. 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 in a hospital in Norman, Oklahoma, and needed him immediately. An unknown male called Rob that morning with the same news.

The plan failed. Rob had 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 the insurance money.

The Insurance Policy

After the incident with his brake lines, Rob decided to make his brother the beneficiary of his insurance policy instead of Brenda. Pavatt found out and told Rob that he couldn't 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's knowledge by forging his signature and backdating it to March 2001.

Thanksgiving Holiday

On Nov. 20, 2001, Rob 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 once, then handed Brenda the 16-gauge shotgun. She took the second shot, ending 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 told police that two armed, masked men dressed in black had attacked Rob in the garage and shot him, then shot her in her arm as she ran away.

The Andrews' 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 didn't appear they were packed and ready to spend the weekend with their father.

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

The Investigation

Investigators were told that Rob owned a 16-gauge shotgun but that Brenda had refused to let him have it when he moved out. They searched the Andrews' home but didn't find the shotgun.

A search of the Andrews' next-door neighbors' home revealed that someone had entered the 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. There were no signs of forced entry.

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

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

The .22-caliber round found in Janna's car was the same brand as the three .22-caliber rounds found in the neighbors' attic. Investigators also learned that Pavatt had purchased a handgun the week before the murder.

On the Run

Instead of attending Rob's funeral, Brenda, her two children, and 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.

In late February 2002, having run out of money, Pavatt and Brenda re-entered the United States and were arrested in Hidalgo, Texas. The following month they were extradited to Oklahoma City.

Trials and Sentencing

James Pavatt and Brenda Andrew were charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. In separate trials, they were found guilty and received death sentences. Brenda never showed remorse for her part in murdering her husband and has claimed that she is innocent. On the day that she was formally sentenced, she looked directly at Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Bragg and said that the verdict and sentence were an "egregious miscarriage of justice," and she was going to fight until she was vindicated.

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

On April 15, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected without comment on Andrew's appeal of the appeals court's decision upholding her conviction and sentence. As of November 2018, she was in the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, Oklahoma.