Andrew to be moved to Oklahoma's death row

Saturday, September 18th 2004, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A 40-year-old mother of two will soon be moved to Oklahoma's death row for the shooting death of her estranged husband in what prosecutors said was a plot with her lover to collect an $800,000 life insurance policy.

Brenda Andrew, convicted of first-degree murder on July 13, is scheduled to be formally sentenced to death on Wednesday for the Nov. 20, 2001, shotgun slaying of Oklahoma City advertising executive Rob Andrew, 39.

Brenda Andrew will be the only woman on the state's death row when she is moved to the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, where female death row inmates are housed.

Her lover, James Pavatt, was convicted of Rob Andrew's murder and sentenced to death in 2003.

Brenda Andrew will be formally sentenced by Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Bragg, who will affirm the jury's decision to send Andrew to death row.

``I think it's going to be kind of short and sweet,'' said Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger.

Bragg may give lead defense attorney Greg McCracken and his client a chance to speak. But McCracken's partner at trial, George Miskovsky III, said he does not expect Andrew to say anything.

``But she might. You never know what people are going to do,'' Miskovsky said.

State law requires death sentences to be automatically appealed, a process that lasts about seven years.

The Andrews shared a spacious home in northwest Oklahoma City where Brenda Andrew stayed home and raised the couple's two children, Tricity and Parker. Rob Andrew worked as an executive at Jordan and Associates.

Testimony during the almost six-week trial indicate their marriage was troubled.

Two men testified they had affairs with Brenda Andrew, a former Sunday school teacher, while she was married. Several pastors said the couple sought marriage counseling.

Brenda Andrew filed for divorce a month and a half before Rob Andrew's death.

Prosecutors said Brenda Andrew was having an affair with Pavatt, Rob Andrews' insurance agent, and that they conspired to kill him for his $800,000 life insurance policy.

Rob Andrew was murdered when he went to the couple's home to pick up their children for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Authorities testified he went into the garage to light a gas heater pilot when he was shot.

Geiger argued that Pavatt ambushed Rob Andrew and shot him in his side with his own 16-gauge shotgun. Then Brenda Andrew took the gun and shot him in the neck.

Brenda Andrew, who was shot in the arm, told authorities that two masked gunmen attacked them.

But testimony indicated Brenda Andrew showed little concern for her husband's death and that she and Pavatt fled to Mexico a day before Rob Andrew's funeral.

The couple remained on the run for three months before they were arrested in Hidalgo, Texas, trying to cross back into the United States.