Brenda Evers was a good Lutheran girl who lived in Enid, Oklahoma. Any week night the church doors were open, Brenda was to be found inside. She was involved in many church groups such as Ongoing Ambassadors for Christ. She was also a pretty girl and a flirt. In high school Brenda had a figure to die for and she used it to her advantage. Robert Andrew fell hard for our Brenda. Soon they were inseparable. Robert was Baptist but he also was a very religious person. When Robert left Enid and headed to Oklahoma State University, Brenda dutifully followed. Brenda found a sense of security in her relationship with Rob and before graduation, Brenda and Rob were married. After college, Rob took a successful job with an ad agency in Oklahoma City. Brenda began a banking career until 1991, when she gave birth to Tricity. She quit work to raise her little girl and couldn’t have been happier.
Four years later baby Parker was born. The young family moved to Lansbrook, an upscale suburban neighbourhood. It was very affluent with parks, lakes, walking paths. There were specific rules expected of people who lived there and the respectable Andrew family fit right in. Brenda had retained her beautiful figure even after having her two children. She enjoyed advertising her feminine wares by wearing tight dresses to church. She caused more whispers when she began spending a lot of time with James Pavatt. They met while teaching Sunday school. Pavatt was an insurance agent who had recently suffered a divorce. Rob heard the rumours and Brenda reassured him they were false. Eventually Rob and James became friends and went hunting together. He bought a million dollar life insurance policy from our divorcee James. Hunting and insurance. Hm. Not a great combination.
After some time Brenda insisted on a separation from Rob. She wasn’t happy. She was bored. Not long after the separation Rob received a telephone call that Brenda was hospitalized. He raced toward the hospital and discovered his brakes were gone. Somehow he escaped this episode with his life. When he contacted the hospital later he was informed Brenda hadn’t entered the hospital at all. November 20, 2001, two days before Thanksgiving Rob arrived at Brenda’s house to pick up the children for the holiday. Brenda asked him to assist her with the pilot light on the furnace. No sooner had the couple stepped inside the garage when a gunman appeared out of nowhere and fired several shots at Rob. He crumpled to the ground. Rob Andrew lay motionless, dead, in a pool of his own blood.
Brenda received a superficial bullet wound and she was released from the hospital that same evening. Police weren’t too happy about Brenda’s stroke of luck. When Brenda arrived at the station for questioning however she was so distraught they believed her when she said she had nothing to do with her husband’s murder. After further investigation, James Pavatt came to their attention. They also learned about Rob’s extravagant insurance policy, and the relationship between Pavatt and Brenda. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that James and Brenda may have played a role in Rob’s death. To make matters worse, Brenda and the children didn’t attend Rob’s funeral service. Brenda, James and her two children were on the run with the million dollar insurance pay-out in their hot little hands. The beautiful housewife and the Sunday school teacher were fugitives from justice. The story made national headlines.
It was believed Brenda and Pavatt may have left the country, settling in a country without extradition. They were close. Brenda and Pavatt unsuccessfully attempted to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico when they were taken into custody. Although Brenda and Pavatt were charged with first degree murder the court tried them both separately. Prosecutors detailed Pavatt’s skill as an ex-army sniper. They also forwarded juicy details of his and Brenda’s affair. Although the case was circumstantial it was compelling. Frankly I think Brenda and Pavatt shot themselves in the foot when they went on the run (pun). Innocent people obviously would have stayed put.
Pavatt was found guilty and sentenced to death. June 17 2004, Oklahoma vs Brenda Andrew began. Prosecutors insisted Brenda wanted out of her marriage but not her lavisih lifestyle. Interestingly, James Pavatt wasn’t Brenda’s only extra-marital affair. She had become involved in several affairs prior to her involvement with Pavatt. Brenda chose Pavatt most likely because of his shooting skills. The shot that grazed Brenda’s arm however didn’t belong to Pavatt. Brenda shot herself, just grazing the palm of her hand. And Brenda took over the gun at the crime scene and assisted Pavatt in murdering her husband. The coup de grace however was that Brenda had taken out an insurance policy not only on her husband but on her lover, James Pavatt, as well. Brenda certainly had her priorities straight where men and money were concerned.
She gave an emotionless plea, tossing her brunette hair around her shoulders, after being sentenced to death. “I love my children dearly and I am a loving, gentle and compassionate mother.”
13-year-old Tricity made an appearance at her mother’s sentencing. It was a very difficult experience for the little girl. Tricity’s testimony was the apex to an emotional day when prosecutors and defense attorneys presented testimony from Rob and Brenda Andrew’s families as to why the convicted murderer should die for her crimes or be spared execution. As Tricity took the witness stand, a female juror mouthed, “Please don’t do this,” as if to beg the attorneys not to present the child as a witness. The juror and several others began crying with the young witness. Tricity was crying so hard, she got out little more than “yes, when asked about letters she wrote to her mother. Brenda Andrew’s attorney Greg McCracken read the letters for Tricity.
The first one began: “Dear Mommy, I love you very much and can’t stand being away from you. McCracken asked Tricity if those were her words. “Yes,” she sobbed, looking down and only briefly and occasionally looking at her mother. During her closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Fern Smith criticized the defense for calling the girl to the stand.
“Tricity did not want to be here, Smith said. “Brenda Andrew didn’t care…[she] is a cold-blooded, heartless killer. What she has done is murder a fine human being, She’s done nothing to earn anything less than the death penalty. Brenda Andrew should have the same sympathy that she showed to Rob Andrew when she so violently murdered him.”
Family and friends who testified on Brenda’s behalf did little good. Brenda Andrew remains on death row, awaiting her execution date.