Two Former Sunday School Teachers Conspire to Kill a Man for Nearly a Million Dollars in Life Insurance Money
How did two Sunday school teachers become cold-blooded killers? An illicit love affair, an $800,000 life insurance policy, and a man deeply in debt created a deadly combination that ended up taking the life of Rob Andrew.
It happened on November 20, 2001 in an Oklahoma City suburb when Brenda Andrew lured her estranged husband to her home to pick up their two children. Brenda told him that the pilot light of the furnace was out and while he bent to fix it James Pavatt came quietly up behind Rob and shot him in the side with a 16 gauge shotgun. In vain, Rob grabbed at a garbage bag full of empty soda cans trying to protect himself, but Brenda took the gun from Pavatt and blasted her husband in the chest. Afterwards she used a .22 caliber pistol to shoot herself in the arm and told police that she and Rob had been the victims of masked intruders.
So, just what drove these two people to murder?
Brenda Andrew grew up in a small town in Oklahoma in a Christian home. She was a baton twirler who never attended the parties thrown by other kids because she did not smoke or drink. She married her high school sweetheart Robert "Rob" Andrew and became a stay at home mom to their two children and a Sunday school teacher.
As she turned 40, it seemed Brenda was having a mid-life crisis and she began a series of illicit sexual affairs. One of them was with James Pavatt, a member of the same church as the Andrews and a fellow Sunday school teacher. Pavatt, a life insurance agent, socialized with Rob, Brenda and their children, and had recently sold an $800,000 life insurance policy to Rob. Pavatt divorced his wife, Suk Hui, in the summer of 2001. Brenda Andrew filed divorce papers in late September of that same year.
The brake lines on Rob Andrew's car were severed sometime on the night of October 25-26, 2001. The next day Rob was notified of an "emergency" involving his wife. The ploy did not work as Rob had discovered the damage to his vehicle before he was harmed and he notified police.
When Rob Andrew realized his brake lines had been severed he asked Mr. Pavatt about removing Brenda as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy, but was told (falsely) that since Brenda was the owner of the policy, Mr. Andrew had no control over the beneficiary.
The day before Rob Andrew's funeral, James Pavatt, Brenda Andrew and her children went on the run. Tricity and Parker Andrew were drug on a fugitive journey through Mexico. Three months later Pavatt and Andrew were arrested as they tried to cross the border back into the United States.
Little is known about James Pavatt's early life, although it is known that he was in the Air Force and served in Southeast Asia. He was attached to the Military Police. He was married to Suk Hui Pavatt for nine years before divorcing her in 2001. At that time he was working as an agent for Prudential Insurance. Former co-workers characterize him as very cold, and manipulative. One co-worker said there was something about Pavatt that struck him as "off-center". "He always talked about shooting dogs. Every time he saw a dog he would talk about shooting it," the man said. Someone else who knew Pavatt described him as "creepy."
His ex-wife said, "He wasn't the same Jim I knew for nine years. He was the most kind person while we were married. Something was not right with him."
James Pavatt went on trial August 25, 2003. On September 16, 2003 he was found guilty of First Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. On October 21, 2003 he was sentenced to death.
Brenda Andrew was convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Murder and First Degree Murder on September 22, 2004 and sentenced to die.
The former Sunday school teachers now sit on death row in Oklahoma. Brenda Andrew is the only woman on Oklahoma's death row.http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/281503/the_sunday_school_killers.html?cat=17Jury gives Andrew death penalty
From the crime scene to the courtroom, Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4 has been following the Rob Andrew murder case for more than two years. The father of two young children was shot to death just before Thanksgiving in 2001.
Earlier this week the jury found Rob's estranged wife, Brenda Andrew, guilty of his murder. And, late Thursday, the jury handed down her sentence.
"Having hereto found the defendant Brenda Evers Andrew guilty of murder in the first degree, fix her punishment at death."
Just a few months ago Brenda's lover Jim Pavatt was sentenced to death inside the same courthouse. Brenda's jury believed she deserved the same punishment, which will make her the only woman in Oklahoma currently serving on death row.
From the night she pulled the trigger, to her arrest in Mexico and to the courtroom, Brenda Andrew has never shown any fear of the future she faced. Not even on her sentencing day.
While Brenda sat motionless, her family wept. But for the first time since November 20, 2001, Rob's family found true relief.
"The past two and a half years have been something we would not wish on our worst enemy," said Rob's brother Tom. "My brother will be greatly missed. But, his memory will not soon be forgotten by the thousands of people he touched during his life, even after death."
But Brenda Andrew's justice isn't set in stone yet. That's because Brenda's attorneys say their fight isn't over.
"And Brenda Andrew seeks justice still, and I believe in justice still," said her attorney, Greg McCracken. "But that day hasn't come yet."
McCracken said he plans to appeal the guilty verdict. And, one reason he said he'll use is extensive media coverage.
"When we started this case there had been approximately 100 front page stories on this case, there had been approximately 2,000 television stories on all of the major networks here in Oklahoma City," McCracken said.
It was coverage Rob's family praised, hoping no one would forget this face - nor Brenda Andrew's - sentenced to the same fate to which she sentenced her husband.
"Rob was a wonderful man and he surely has a favored seat at the right hand of God," Tom Andrew said.
Andrew's two children remain in the custody of Rob's family. They also thanked the Oklahoma City police department and, of course, the district attorney's office. The Andrews say their sympathy's are with Brenda's family.
Only three women have been put to death on Oklahoma's death row, all of them in 2001.http://www.kfor.com/Global/story.asp?S=2046058&nav=6uy5Oq8O