Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Okie Investigations. In this episode we are going to discuss the Murder of Robert Dale Andrews. He was shot with a shotgun while helping his estranged wife Brenda Rose Andrews. Brenda was shot in the arm and called 911. This case ended with two people placed on Death Row. In this episode we will discuss What happened? And Why? Also, many things have happened since the trial, so we will be covering that as well.
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For this weeks episode, I scoured the local shop near me for one of my favorite drinks Flavored Coffee. Since quarantine, I have been on a world wide trip from home, drinking different coffees from around the globe. I didn’t have to go fat this week because this is a roasting company here in Oklahoma. This week I have been drinking Higher Grounds Coffee, I chose their southern Pecan flavor. The Pecan flavor is not over powering, its just right and I am going to go through this bag pretty quickly. Simply put, it’s amazing. One of the reasons I need Coffee is to keep me sharp for my research. Higher Grounds does the job in a Delicious way. If you want to give them a try, go to hgokc.com and order from their website. Big thank you to the fine folks there at Higher Grounds Coffee Company.
Before we get started I wanted to say a few things about the show. I wanted to say thank you to all of you that have had such wonderful things to say about the show. I received some really good constructive criticism and I am working on making improvements with each and every episode. I am not perfect at this but I strive to be better. I was amazed at the response that everyone gave on the Facebook page as well. The Missing Poster we posted for Fawn and Rozlin Abell went Okie Viral and has been seen by thousands upon thousands of people, in and out of Oklahoma.
When I started this show, I knew I had to cover this case. I was a young adult when this murder happened and it was all over our local news. As more and more details came out on this one you had to stand back and wonder, why no one stepped in before it came to all of this. But, I’m not going to spoil it for you all, let’s get to it.
To completely understand this story, you need to start way back when Brenda was just a child growing up in Enid Oklahoma. Brenda Evers was born on December 16th 1963. By all accounts, Brenda was a good child, earned good grades and went to church. In Jr. High Brenda became interested in Baton Twirling and cheering on their school football team to victory.
In her Senior Year, Brenda met Rob Andrew though his younger brother who she was friends with. Rob attended Oklahoma State University The two quickly because smitten with each other. To quote the princess bride… Isn’t that a wonderful beginning? One of the things that probably helped their relationship is that Enid isn’t that far from Stillwater where the OSU Campus is located. The two could make the hour drive pretty regularly. This closeness became even more evident after Brenda graduated High School and was accepted to Southwestern College in Winfield Kansas.
Personally, I’ve been to Winfield several times and I can definitely see the allure to attending school there. Especially if you are not looking for the party scene and more of a quiet town. Winfild is not like most places in Kansas, Yes, they have the large Cattle Farms and fields of wheat. But the Town of Winfield is a cozy place filled with beautiful old houses and elaborate churches that would be a draw for someone like Brenda. But the Move to Winfield added almost another hour to the drive to see one another. With school work and exams to study for, it became all too difficult for Brenda and she decided to move to Stillwater to be closer to Rob.
On May 29th 1984, Brenda and Rob tied the knot. But the honeymoon phase was over just as quickly as it began. Rob’s Friend Barb Mercer-Green stated in a interview conducted by the Daily Oklahoman “Brenda told Rob that she hated him on their wedding night.” Rob’s father reported said “One time we were driving by a motel and Rob casually told me that he found Brenda at the Motel with a former boyfriend after he was engaged to her. I daid Rob, Wake up, but he was quick to look for and believe the best.”
After graduating at Oklahoma State, Rob took a job in Texas and moved him and his new bride. Barb and Rob worked together in the same office. Barb actually worked just across the hall from him. They quickly became friends and Rob would go to Barb from time to time to discuss the problems in his marriage. She stated that she heard a number of stories about Brenda over the years. One such story involved Brenda and Rob were having a family dinner together. Brenda stopped eating and angrily told Rob that she absolutely hated the way he ate. She got up from the table and then dumped a plate of spaghetti in his lap.
On December 23rd 1990 the couple welcomed their first child into the world. Perhaps Rob thought that bringing children into the marriage would be a good way of sorting his marital problems out. Rob named his daughter Tricity. It was said that Rob liked the name because he could see his daughter doing anything in this world, like running for office. Vote for Tricity! But bringing a child into the relationship just placed another person in the middle of an already toxic relationship. Four years later they welcomed their second child Parker to the family.
At the birth of her first child, Brenda became a stay at home Mom. The life that she once had changed very quickly. She went from working in a bank and having work friends to staying home and changing diapers. For some, this would be a welcome change. Motherhood is not an easy job but getting the chance to not only stary a big beautiful family and to have the time to bond and shape the lives of your children can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. But it seems that something was just not right for Brenda.
Shortly after the birth of their children, Rob began going to the church to seek out advice on what he should do to help fix his failing marriage. Brenda was regularly telling Rob that their marriage was a mistake and that she absolutely hated him. Rob However, Did not believe in divorce so he sought out another way to make things better.
Now, I don’t know about you. But one way I like to make things better is to have a good laugh and there’s no better place for that than with the Highly Illogical Podcast. Each week we talk about nerdy topics like our favorite Sci-Fi Film, Who was the best Star Trek Captain and much much more. Find Highly Illogical wherever Podcasts are available.
After the birth of their second child, Brenda started changing her style. She started wearing revealing clothing. Brenda probably liked the attention this got her. It was at this point, Brenda decided that she was going to start having an affair. For her first affair, Brenda showed what kind of friend she is by having an affair with her friends husband Rick Nunley. Rick and Brenda carried on for about a year. According to Rick, even after they decided to stop sleeping with each other, they stayed in touch by phone.
During this time, Rob was completely oblivious to what was happening around him. To make matters worse this was just the first of many affairs.
Not to long after the affair with Rick ended, Brenda started flirting with a man who worked at a local shop nearby. Brenda would purposely wear something revealing and wink at James Higgins every time she would come into the store. James, a married man, but all the same, noticed the advances and started flirting back. Not long after, Brenda came into the shop like usuail, they flirted but this time, before she left. She gave James a hotel key and told him to meet her there. This Affair would last for two years. Rob was no longer oblivious to what was happening. One day he came home early and found Brenda and Rick eating Dinner together. Not long after, Rob left Brenda but that didn’t last long. Still not believing in Divorce, Rob wanted to work things out with his wife and they got back together. The affair with Rick didn’t end and lasted until May of 2001when Brenda set her sights on a bigger fish. Brenda told James she was bored with him and that was that. She moved on.
Now when I say she found a bigger fish, I don’t mean someone who was better than Rob, I don’t mean someone who was richer or could provide a better life. I mean someone who would do anything to have Brenda.
Now, from what we covered earlier, we know what Rob and Brenda are religious people. Brenda has her faults, she is considered a sinner for many of her actions up to this point. But who are we to judge? Right? In 1999, Rob help found and became a decon at North Pointe Baprist Church. It was durthing this time Rob told his friends “I might look like the old Rob outside, but I’m a brand new person inside” Brenda started teaching Sunday School at their church. Thats when she sets her hooks into fellow Sunday School Teacher, Decon, Life Insurance Agent James Pavatt. At this time, James was also a deeply religious man. He was married but couldn’t resist Brenda’s charm. It was said best by Reporter William Phelps. “He jumped in, Hook, line and Fishnet Stockings”. It wasn’t long after that the rumors began.
As the relationship between James and Brenda gets heated, James files for Divorce from his wife Suk Hui Pavatt which is granted on September 6th 2001. In the same month, Brenda kicks Rob out of their Oklahoma City home and just a little over a month later on October 3rd 2001 Brenda Andrew filed for Divorce.
20 days after Brenda files for divorce, Rob comes out of his house and notices something leaking from his car. He takes a look and realizes that someone has cut his break line. Then he receives a call, it’s from a Doctor in a nearby Hospital. He tells Rob that his wife was in an accident and he needs to hurry. Rob was very suspicious at this point. He decides to call the hospital to see if his wife is actually there. Rob speaks to a receptionist that confirms that she is not there. Rob then quickly hangs up and dials 911.
Now, you might be asking yourself… what would James and Brenda stand to gain if they killed Rob? Well, 800,000 dollars might be a pretty good motive to commit murder. I mentioned earlier that James was an insurance agent. He was no stranger to the Andrew clan and in 1996, James sold Rob an 800 thousand dollar insurance policy. Now, it seemed to Rob, they were trying to collect.
Det. Mike Kilka reportedly spoke to Rob about the break lines. “Mr. Andrew told me he was going through a difficult separation pending divorce and he felt his wife and her boyfriend were responsible”. The advice that the Detective gave Rob was simple and to the point. Do not be around his soon to be ex wife or her boyfriend unescorted. This was very important advice that Rob did not follow. Rob also confessed to friends his suspicions and they too gave him very similar advice. But Rob still thought there was hope for saving his marriage. If he just tried harder, he would have his family back.
Now, Im going to stress something here. I’m in no way victim blaming Rob here. Personally, Ive been there. Love can do crazy things to a person, it can make you lose sight to whats important. Common sense goes out the window at this point. So I do want to point something out here that Rob did oh so right. Rob wasnt stupid to what was going on around him. He went to James, the person who wrote his insurance policy, and asked to remove Brenda as his beneficiary from the policy. James told him no, he couldn’t because Brenda was the person who owned the policy, so he couldn’t make that change. But Rob remembered it all differently. He was the owner of the policy.
So Rob did what I would have done, he called James’s manager and asked about the policy. Rob was reassured that he was the owner of the policy and that he could make the change if he wanted to. Now, even more suspicious, Rob told James’s boss that he thought that James was trying to kill him to collect on the policy with his estranged wife. This sent James into a rage and he soon confronted Rob and told him to never speak to his manager.
The fact of the matter is, James and Brenda were already schemeing to get the life insurance policy into Brenda’s control. They had forged a document naming Brenda as the owner of the policy. A handwriting expert would later go on to say it was obvious that Rob did not actually sign this document. The signature was missing many features that Rob’s typical signature had.
Now, it’s near Thanksgiving and it’s Rob’s turn to have the kids. Rob was on his way to pick them up and while he was on his way, he was talking to a friend on the phone. According to the friend. Rob was excited to have the kids for the holiday. When he got to Brenda’s house he told his friend he had to go, that Brenda wanted something. This would be the last time anyone would hear from Rob again.
Brenda asked if Rob could light the pilot light in the garage. Rob, being a kind person, agreed. As he bent over, he heard someone approaching, he turned around to see James approaching with a shotgun. Rob grabbed what was nearest to himself and shielded himself with it but it was just a bad of cans. James shot Rob without a second thought. Then he gave Brenda the shotgun and she shot Rob again. The second shot was the one that killed Rob. Then, as apart of their plan. James shot Brenda in the arm with a .22 caliber pistol at point blank range.
Brenda tried to trick the police but they made many missteps along the way. James had borrowed his daughter Janna’s car. When he returned it, she found a bullet casing inside. She called her father and asked about it, he told her to shrow it away. She didn’t, she turned it over to the police.
On the day of Rob’s funeral. Instead of attending, Brenda, her two children and James fled to Mexico. Rob, still believing Janna was on his side, would call his daughter asking her to send some money. But at this time she was cooperating with the FBI and all of this was going to be used as evidence for the trial.
February the next year, Brenda and James gave up. They reentered the united states and were debt back to Oklahoma City to face trial. They both pled not guilty but it didn’t help, They were both found guilty and both were sentenced to death.
Since the trial, Brenda has appealed and appealed the decision with no change in her situation. According to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, only 3 women have been put to death in Oklahoma’s history. Brenda will be its 4th.
Jame’s almost got off Death Row. In 2017 a three judge federal appeals court overturned the death sentence for James. But then the full 13 Judge court decided to uphold the convection.
Join us next Sunday as we once again delve into the darker corners of the Okie State. Make sure you Subscribe so that when we do have new episodes, you will be the first to know. See ya.